“I have dismissed writer X from our magazine but wish him nothing but the best journalistically”

By Jack Limpert

I’ve always thought people could learn a lot from sports—practice, teamwork, resiliency—so when I once saw the words a football coach used in kicking a player off his team, I thought maybe that’s language to keep in mind if an editor has to fire a writer:

“I have dismissed Chad Kelly for conduct detrimental to our program,” Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney said. “He has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program. I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the man and player I know he can be. I wish him nothing but the best in the future academically and athletically.”

So let’s say you have a writer who got you into trouble and you then found out he hadn’t been honest about how he reported the story:

“I have dismissed writer X from our magazine. He has stretched the truth in a way not consistent with the values of our publication. I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the writer I know he can be. I wish him nothing but the best in the future journalistically.”

Coaches might be able to get away with that kind of talk but not editors.

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