KC Johnson mailbag - "my part of the ‘the story’"

KC addresses his role in shovey shovington, interspersed with mailbag questions:

The last thing any journalist wants to become is a part of a story. But that's where I found myself after TNT's Craig Sager reported that I hadn't reported the John Paxson- Vinny Del Negro incident out of concern for Del Negro's future.

Attempting to defend myself would involve sharing details of private conversations that helped me come to the decision, and I can't do that. But I can answer your questions before moving on to what matters most — what's next for the Bulls.

It's a new day, a new story and I'm eager to cover it.

Why did you bury the story of Paxson and Vinny? How can we trust your objectivity if you don't report breaking news? John, Chicago

That's a conclusion each reader will have to reach on their own. I've worked at the Tribune for 20 years and have weighed a multitude of delicate decisions in those decades. I'd like to think my body of work speaks to accuracy, fairness and objectivity. This may surprise some, but journalism has gray areas. You gather information, conduct interviews and then make decisions on what to publish based on what you know at that time. I will continue to work as hard as I can on every story and will weigh contributing factors on each, just as I did here and just as I have done throughout my career.

I have seen and heard people say you should have reported the Paxson push of Del Negro earlier. For what it's worth, I don't agree. If both parties asked to keep it internal, I think it's fine. I am guessing this kind of stuff happens far more often than we know, although it usually involves players and not management. As a reporter, you have to gauge when to keep a trust that will lead to more information later and I think you have done well reporting information on the Bulls. Joe, Palatine

Thanks, mom. Er, I mean … Thanks, man. I made the decision less because of the flow of information. It was more for a humane reason. Ultimately, you may view that reason as unsound journalistically, but I'm comfortable with it even while facing the fallout. Adversity comes in life. How you deal with it defines who you are. It's my turn to face the music. Once the story became public, I reported it with the strongest details I had.

(ht: RealGM board)

I think this makes KC look worse. I was hoping it was some kind of Journalistic (with a capital 'J') reason, though even that I'd contest since you don't preserve relationships to get stories down the line at the cost of missing bigger stories. But he did it as a 'humane' favor to...basically Paxson, because VDN was gone anyway.

I do give him credit for putting his credibility on the line and saying that ultimately it's up to the readers to decide. Which is fine, KC Johnson can be a stand-up guy but flawed beat reporter.

And thus I'm extremely worried with the 'go for Joe Johnson as a better fit' idea since it's probably Org. speak coming from his fingers.

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