WXMI has fired reporter and weekend anchor Jason Volentine after he failed to disclose his connection to an atheist group that he was covering.
In July, Volentine did a story for WXMI about the Freedom From Religion Foundation‘s campaign to have the image of a church removed from the city logo of Wyoming, MI. MLive reports that the Grand Rapids Fox-affiliate dismissed Volentine when it learned that he had ties to the FFRF, a Wisconsin-based organization that fights for the separation of church and state.
Following Volentine’s dismissal, WXMI released a statement acknowledging his connection to the group:
Following our airing of the story about the city seal of Wyoming, it was brought to our attention that the reporter had a connection to the Freedom From Religion Foundation and failed to disclose it on air. While reviewing the incident we removed the article from our website and immediately removed the reporter from the story. Following our review of the incident we informed our viewers of the connection and the employee no longer works for WXMI. We take this very seriously and regret this unfortunate incident.
WXMI has re-posted the story on its website with a note about Volentine’s connection to FFRF.
Volentine had been with WXMI since September 2010.[MLive]