I quit my job at the Camera yesterday. Here’s why:
You’ll likely remember my tweet from a few weeks ago calling someone an asshole. I offered apologies to said person and the public and I offer them again here: It was unprofessional and wrong of me to use my platform in that way. I apologize.
My former employer and I disagreed on how best to reclaim public faith. They rejected my sincere apologies. I understand their position. I still disagree.
I think you, my community, deserve better than a copy-paste, lawyer-approved apology. (I think I deserve that, too.)
I want to conduct my apology the same way I conducted my beat: by engaging. I respond to my critics (at least the ones who do me the courtesy of letting me know I’m being criticized). I engage with them, hear their complaints, explain my position.
I engaged with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, after he sent a public email to city council accusing me of intentionally misrepresenting facts and lacking the intelligence and common sense necessary to be a journalist.
He showed no remorse when I called him. In fact, he recorded the call without my knowledge or consent and played it for city council and, later, my bosses.
It is not my practice to call people who are rude to me mean names on Twitter. People are rude to me without great frequency. 99% of the time, I handle it with grace and good humor. This was my one percent.
I’m willing to take responsibility for my actions, to the point of giving up my job. I just don’t think I should be the only one who is held accountable.
This job is ugly. People are ugly to me, to each other, to city council, to staff. With the recent death of my mother, I lost a sense of who I want to be. I allowed myself to become ugly, too. For that, I am truly and deeply sorry.
Many of the qualities that make me a great journalist also, occasionally, lead me into trouble. My passion for justice. My dedication to truth, no matter how unpleasant. I’ll keep working to temper the less-savory aspects of my personality while remaining true to my mission.
I’ll never get to 100% perfection, but I can certainly do better. I thank you for your support and the opportunity to be part of the fabric of our community.
– Shay Castle
owner, publisher and journalist