MITCH ALBOM LETTER TO HIS SUPPORTERS
Hi, Mitch here. Just a heads up that you may hear about a story in the Detroit Free Press, my newspaper, which ran today (Monday). It is the culmination of a full-scale investigation that was launched the night of April 7th, after my apology for the mistake I made in my April 3rd column.
Five full time reporters and one full time editor were dispatched to look into anything and everything about me, I suppose due the hysterical climate surrounding journalism right now. They asked athletes if they actually smiled when I said they smiled. They checked football teams to be sure I was there at 6 a.m. when I said I was there at 6 a.m.
The story concludes that after a review of 600 of my columns, plus checking into every rumor that ever floated around about me, they found absolutely no factual errors in my work, and that every rumor was baseless.
This is very good news. I have always been proud of my journalism, and confident in how I practiced it, and while I’m not happy about having to go through this colonoscopy, at least I know I have a clean bill of health.
There will be mention in the story about quote attribution issues at the Free Press, something that came up as a result of this long search. Columnists at our paper, including me, had not been under strict guidelines for attribution of every quote from its original source and thus, sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t. I suspect that policy will be tightened as of now.
You should know that I have not been accused of anything in this, nor will there be any discipline, suspension or what have you. Simply a tightening of the policy for all the writers there, including me. My publisher’s statement spoke about how glad she was that rumors were proven false and how no factual errors were ever located, and how grateful she was for all the column subjects who had written in to attest to my thorough journalism.
So once more, here is the summation: five reporters, six weeks, nothing. That’s the news. Actually great news. Meanwhile, this whole thing has taught me the difference between what’s really important in this business and what isn’t, and what’s been most important is people like you and your belief in me. It has been part of the shining ray that kept me going.
I thank you forever for that, and hope this is the last time you hear about me in the news – unless I make the Olympic luge team.