white noise

by Brian Clarey

News and views from inside the media bubble


Kim Underwood, a 25-year veteran reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal, stepped down last week. The Journal did not issue a formal statement about Underwood’s departure but confirmed the news by responding to a letter from reader Eric S. Spaugh. “So now Kim Underwood is gone?” Spaugh wrote in a letter published on Sept. 30. “I understand that these are tough times for the Journal; I understand that you have to make cuts and squeeze your pennies. But at some point you’ve got to stop taking away our reasons for reading the Journal and start providing reasons to keep reading it; otherwise you’ll disappear and we’ll be the worst for it.

“Whoever is steering your financial ship has been doing a horrible job of it,” Spaugh continued.

“You need fresh input.”

The newspaper’s editorial staff replied to Spaugh’s letter with the following statement: “Kim left on his own accord and will be replaced. He served us and our readers well for 25 years and will be missed. We wish him well.”

Linda C. Brinson, a former editorial page editor at the Journal, also expressed her dismay at the news of Underwood’s resignation in a letter to the editor. “You can be sure that the reading public will notice his absence from the newspaper,” Brinson wrote. “For many years, his wise and gentle columns touched us all, particularly the columns about his dog, Buster, and the children in his life, Sparkle Girl and Doobins.” Brinson praised Underwood for his professionalism, fairness, integrity and ethical conduct.

“He will be missed, and the Journal is diminished by his leaving,” she stated.