Read the latest on Mpozi's death investigation

Dateline: Fri 18 Aug 2006

I have said that you will not get news from the Star about what happened the night Star photographer Mpozi Tolbert died in the newsroom. Nor will you read about the subsequent IOSHA investigation regarding his death in the Gannett-owned newspaper.

However, the Monitor, the publication of the National Association of Black Journalists, has published a report today in its issue. See link...

http://nabjconvention.org/2006/monitor/pdf/fri/NABJ81811.pdf

In this account Monitor staff writer Jennifer Jiggetts quotes Star exeuctive editor Dennis Ryerson. He acknowledges there were no defibs in the newsroom (which this blog reported). Nor, he says, was there training in CPR for staffers (also reported).

"The company already knew we needed to do this and we were in the process of doing it," he told Jiggetts.

"I don't know when they're (defibs) coming, but they've been ordered."

The article also quotes a spokewoman for Gannett, who says not all Gannett newsrooms have CPR training or defibs. But Gannett corporate headquarters, she adds, does have them. (!)

Again, this is a policy that desperately needs changing. Media companies -- which is what many large newspapers today are -- have an obligation to provide as safe a work environment as Wal-Mart, Target and Starbucks do.

Jiggetts also discusses the phone problems that night. She reports that not all the phones in the buidling were "configured," which resulted in problems dialing 911.

Please read her up-to-date account. This story deserves continued exposure. The NABJ is holding its national conference in Indy this week.

Email me at ruth@ruthholladay.com

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