We’re going to file this one under WTF! A reporter for the Suburban Journals, a sister publication of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was shot last year while covering a city council meeting in Kirkwood. After taking a bullet on the job, the paper still felt inclined to lay him off this year.
The reporter, Todd Smith, was the only injured person who survived the shooting last February. Yet just one year later, the paper has decided to cut him for “budgetary reasons.” “I got called in Tuesday and told I needed to be at a meeting on Wednesday,” Smith told The River Front Times. “I thought I was OK since the Internet and the website are the future, and performance-wise I was doing fine. My family is obviously really not happy that I took a bullet for a business. But I guess in these economic times that isn’t enough to save you.”
Immediately after taking a bullet in the city hall shooting, Smith—being the dedicated reporter that he is—pulled out his cell phone and a filed a story. That, apparently, is still not enough to secure your job in this tough economic climate. As if that weren’t enough, yesterday the Post-Dispatch announced that it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the shooting. Though we can’t confirm it, some of that coverage was probably drawn from Smith’s on the scene report. Man, if even this dedicated reporter can’t keep his job, we wish technophobe Maureen Dowd a lot of luck.