AJC fires reporter, makes corrections to story on UGA football
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has fired reporter Alan Judd and made two corrections to its story on UGA football’s handling of sexual abuse allegations.
Last week, Michael Raeber, the General Counsel of the UGA Athletic Association, sent a nine-page letter to the AJC demanding a retraction of an Alan Judd story because it was “…replete with errors, unsubstantiated allegations, innuendo, and possibly even fabrications.”
Per their announcement on Wednesday, the AJC found “two elements” of the story did not meet their journalistic standards.
“Our editorial integrity and the trust our community has in us is at the core of who we are,” AJC editor-in-chief Leroy Chapman said in a statement. “After receiving the university’s letter, we assigned our team of editors and lawyers to carefully review each claim in the nine-page document we received, along with some additional source material that supported the original story. We identified errors that fell short of our standards, and we corrected them.”
The original article stated that the AJC found 11 players that remained on the UGA football team following abuse allegations, but an internal investigation found that the “precise count of 11 players” could not be confirmed.
The AJC also corrected two quotes that had been joined together in a single quote, although they contend that it didn’t “change the meaning of the quote.”
As a result of the corrections, the AJC “…removed or adjusted several paragraphs of the story that depended on that count, and edited the headline.”
“A critical part of our mission is to hold people and institutions accountable. It is a responsibility we take seriously,” Chapman said. “We must hold ourselves to this same standard and acknowledge when we fall short, which we have here.
“We apologize to the university and our readers for the errors.”