Botched Bylines Give Human Events a Blemish

Relaunching a website often comes with growing pains. We recently reported that Human Events had some kinks to work out as it reintroduced its website. Then, it was some coding issues. Today, it’s bylines.

During the switch from Site Manager to WordPress as the website’s administrative system, several stories screwed up who wrote what. For instance, former contributor Steven Robinson’s name, which appeared as a double byline on a few stories, was deleted from the site. Articles originally bearing his name appeared are now authored by “Main Admin” or by Audrey Hudson, the publication’s congressional correspondent. Robinson recently left Eagle Publishing, which owns Human Events. He now works on the website for the Paul Revere Project, which aims to coordinate messaging among conservative groups in D.C. and nationwide.

As recently as this morning a story co-written by Robinson was changed to only show Hudson’s name. Three days ago, Robinson asked his old employers about it and was told about internal system issues. His byline was not restored until today after FishbowlDC’s inquiry.

Joe Guerriero, VP and Group Publisher of Eagle Publishing, told FBDC by email that the mix up had to do with “transferring a massive number of files to a new system” and the order in which they were sent.

Though Robinson said he thought there might be something more nefarious at hand, Human Events‘ Editor Cathy Taylor said the issue also happened with at least one other author out of the 200 the publication had in its system. “Steve Robinson’s byline was confused with another periodic author’s byline, Ron Robinson. Also, when Steve double-bylined with Audrey Hudson, his name apparently was dropped off,” Taylor said. “The good news is that all data transferred.”

The bad news, however, is that Robinson (the whistle blower) won’t be writing for Human Events anytime soon.