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Bile for Giles


For the union workers still at war with The Detroit News and Free Press, the appointment of former News editor Bob Giles to head the prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University is insult added to injury.

Coming on the heels of an U.S. appellate court decision that found the papers did not commit unfair labor practices preceding the strike five years ago, news that Giles — loathed by many for the role he played in the strike — would take over a premier job in the journalism world was a bit like being spat upon when you’re already sprawled on the ground from getting gut-kicked.

“Harvard loves corporate gold a lot more than high journalistic standards,” declared Detroit Newspaper Guild President Lou Mleczko in the union newsletter, The Alliance. “The whole trend in journalism is to corporate domination and the corporate agenda. This is just the latest manifestation.”

The appointment was reportedly held up for three weeks while Harvard honchos sorted through complaints that poured in when it was leaked that Giles was a finalist.

According to a story in the Harvard Crimson, Giles received support from a variety of media bigwigs, who lobbied on his behalf when the appointment appeared to be in jeopardy. The paper reported that some of that support was generated by members of Giles’ family contacting friends in the industry and asking them to help goose things along.

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. He can be reached at

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