Jotham Sederstrom, the New York Daily News editor who was fired after attributions were removed from columnist Shaun King’s pieces, has issued a statement about the incident. Sederstrom said it all comes to down “sloppy editing” and a “formatting glitch.”
Sederstrom wrote that he was “100 percent to blame,” and stated that King’s attributions to The Daily Beast and FiveThirtyEight were deleted because he was busy and forgot about them:
In those two cases where no citation or hyperlink appeared in the column, I believe I likely cut attribution from the top of Shaun’s quoted text with the intention of pasting them back inside the block — only to get distracted with another of the many responsibilities I juggled as an editor.
Sederstrom added that this was not an excuse, but he wanted to take issue with editor Jim Rich’s claim that the incident was “inexplicable.”
“I don’t say that to absolve myself of blame, but to illustrate how this happened with no intention on my part to damage Shaun’s reputation or the paper’s,” wrote Sederstrom.
“Finally, I want to personally apologize to Kate Briquelet of the Daily Beast and Rob Arthur and Jeff Asher of FiveThirtyEight.com for removing attribution and links to fantastic stories that Shaun originally cited,” continued Sederstrom. “I absolutely did not mean to do that, and fundamentally believe that proper citation is crucial to upholding basic journalistic standards and ensuring transparency about the reporting process with readers. I am sorry.”