What passes for news at Panax

September 1977
Columbia Journalism Review;Sep/Oct1977, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p6
This article comments on the basis of Panax Corp. in selecting news stories for its newspapers. Last June 1977 the editors of two Panax Corp. newspapers in Michigan lost their jobs after resisting a corporate directive that they print two stories about the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter written by Panax's recently hired New York bureau chief, George Bernard. One story said that President Carter condones promiscuity for the male staffers who work for him. The other suggested that Rosalynn Carter was being groomed for the vice-presidency. The tow editors, Robert H. Skuggen of the Marquette "Mining Journal" and David A. Rood of the "Escanaba Daily Press," ignored a memorandum from the Panax executive vice president asking them to run the attached stories as soon as possible for it is an explosive story. In all the press coverage given to the circumstances surrounding the firings, including the denial of Panax that they were firings at all, little was said about the stories themselves. The promiscuity article was essentially an interview with D. Peter Bourne, a psychiatrist who has known Carter for years. The other article, about Rosalynn Carter as a potential vice-presidential candidate, was based entirely on interviews with two New York City psychologists.


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