Something’s Rotten In The State Of Gannett

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” — Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act I, iv, 90)

What’s going on over at USA Today today? If you’ve heard some of the details, email us or use the anonymous tip box.

4:30 p.m. UPDATE: This is what the kerfuffle was about: In a March 28 article, veteran Washington writer Tom Squitieri (pictured) used quotes from an Indy Star article without attribution, says USAT editor Kenneth Paulson. He says in a statement that “Squitieri’s actions violated USA Today’s standards on sources and attribution,” and that the reporter has now resigned from the paper. Full statement after the jump.

There’s now a sad irony in how Squitieri was credited with being one of the early whistle-blowers in the fabrications by USAT’s Jack Kelley.

USA Today News Part II: It appears that the earlier mentioned editor switch is unrelated to the developing Squitieri story. The move had the unfortunate timing to happen at the same time, and the two stories got wrapped up together in the gossip chain.

Here’s what’s up with the USA Today musical chairs edition:

White House editor Gwen Flanders will be heading up a Tysons Corner-based team of general assignment reporters on the national desk who will be tasked with picking up stories that fall between the cracks of other beats–which we’re told is different than “enterprise” reporting. (Blake Morrison will be continuing on in his role as enterprise editor.)

Former defense/foreign affairs editor George Hager is moving to be White House editor, while Cat Camia is moving from Gannett News Service to be Congressional editor, replacing the talented Rich Wolf, who is returning to the reporting beat.

Ray Locker, formerly from the AP’s Sacramento bureau, is replacing Hager.

The following statement was released Thursday by USA TODAY Editor Kenneth Paulson:

“An article written by USA TODAY staff writer Tom Squitieri and published on March 28, 2005, included quotes taken from The Indianapolis Star that were not attributed to the newspaper. Statements made by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Bryan Hart, of Bedford, Mass., first appeared in a May 7, 2004, article on armored Humvees by Ted Evanoff of The Indianapolis Star. USA TODAY and The Indianapolis Star are both Gannett newspapers. Squitieri’s actions violated USA TODAY’s standards on sources and attribution. USA TODAY apologizes to its readers. Squitieri has apologized and resigned.”