The publisher of the Medfield Press confirmed in a Saturday email that they had fired Brett Rhyne, the editor of the Medfield Press. This is a truly unfortunate result for the Medfield Press and for the Town of Medfield as Mr. Rhyne had assumed full responsibility for only Medfield this past year, and was doing an excellent job. He previously had dual editorial responsibility for Westwood too, however, when CNC took away his his reporter, they also had him drop Westwood.
Mr Rhyne had gotten to know the town and its people well, writing factual, timely, and interesting items about our town. He was the consummate newspaper man, and professional, who had succeeded in making the Medfield Press interesting once again. Mr. Rhyne was also a refreshing change from the past long string of Medfield Press reporters and editors, most of whom were new college graduates, looking to cut their teeth at the Medfield Press and move on as quickly as possible to a daily paper, just as they had gained the knowledge about Medfield that made them effective reporters. Mr. Rhyne truly seemed to care about Medfield, and it showed in the Medfield Press that he put out. Medfield will be poorer for his loss.
First the publisher’s email from Saturday, and then Mr. Rhyne’s from Friday-
From the publisher of the Medfield Press
I’m writing in my capacity as publisher of the Medfield Press. It has
come to my attention that you were on the distribution list for an
inappropriate email sent by a former employee of ours. While it would
not be appropriate for me to respond to the contents of the email, I can
assure you that we take the privacy and confidentiality of our readers’
information very seriously. Please accept my apologies for any
inconvenience or offense caused by the inappropriate e-mail and for the breach in protocol.
I also want to assure you that we take our responsibility to the
citizens of Medfield very seriously, and are committed to serving you
well with our newspaper and website as we move forward.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.
Medfield Press editor needs your help
Brett M. Rhyne
I write to you today because I need your help. Yesterday, my editor-in-chief, Richard Lodge, suspended me as editor of the Medfield Press, most probably in advance of firing me. His rationale: the endorsement editorial I ran in last week’s paper. He took issue with (a) my endorsing someone for president; and (b) my placing the piece on page one.
My response: (a) Yes, all the editors at GateHouse were told not to make any presidential endorsements; I simply forgot. An accident.
(b) I felt the upcoming election was the biggest story of the week, and that readers were interesting in hearing the paper’s position. It’s not as if readers hadn’t already gotten a lot of information about the congressional and state senate races – including from a debate at Medfield High between Jim Timilty and Jeff Bailey sponsored by the paper – as well as the ballot questions, especially about the medical marijuana issue.
The editorial wasn’t libelous, nor did it hurt anyone. I justify running it on page one as it being the responsibility of a community newspaper to offer its opinion on highly significant issues. It was clearly marked EDITORIAL, and people could choose to read it or not.
I don’t believe either of my editor-in-chief’s concerns is sufficient cause for my dismissal.
So I ask you, members of the Medfield community, to please contact Richard Lodge and voice your opinion on the matter. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (508) 626-3871. Publisher Chuck Goodrich can be reached at email@example.com.
If you decide to contact him, you might mention how the paper has improved since I took over in September 2011, and how my presence has given it a stability that it had been lacking.
You might mention how the paper now delivers real news about the issues and events of importance and interest to the community; how responsive it is to ideas brought forth by the community; and how proactive it is in reaching out to community groups, organizations and town government.
In other words, you might describe your experience interacting with the paper since I’ve become editor.
It may also be worth noting how the Medfield Press and WickedLocalMedfield.com distinguishes itself in the town’s crowded media environment, and how it stands toe-to-toe with Patch, its online competition, and Hometown Weekly, its print competition.
I’ve made no secret about how much I enjoy covering Medfield, its people and its stories. I’m very proud of my work at the Medfield Press. All I ask is the opportunity to continue doing good work here, by continuing to serve as editor of the Medfield Press.
Please feel free to pass this email on to anyone you think might be interested.
Thanks for your time and your efforts on my behalf. I hope to be in touch with you all soon, in the course of my regular duties.
Editor-in-chief Richard Lodge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (508) 626-3871.
Publisher Chuck Goodrich can be reached at email@example.com.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (617) 818-5871.