The Des Moines Register announced Thursday that Aaron Calvin, the reporter who unearthed the controversial retweets from then 16-year-old Carson King, is no longer with the newspaper.
According to executive editor Carol Hunter, the timeline is complicated. In the Thursday story, she wrote Register editors discussed at length whether to include information about the tweets and King’s remorse in the profile. But, she wrote, as the story was being edited, King talked with local TV stations.
However, when the story broke a couple days ago, Hunter wrote editors decided they’d include the information, but at the bottom of the story. It was planned as a few paragraphs toward the bottom of the profile.
That decision on how to use the information was preempted when King held his news conference to discuss the tweets, she wrote.
It doesn’t seem both versions of the story could be true, does it?
The buck on this one does not stop with Aaron Calvin. After all, from the sounds of it, he was doing what the Des Moines Register expects its reporters to do. Someone at the Register told him to dig into King’s past.
And when Calvin found what he found, he wasn’t the one who decided what to do with the information. No, that was the Des Moines Register editors.
And after all of the inappropriate social media postings by Calvin were found (which took just a few minutes to find, if that), that too was a failure by someone in leadership at the Des Moines Register.
The question is, who?