This issue of qnotes is the last one in which Matt Comer serves as the editor. He resigned on Sunday, Aug. 23. Matt is responsible for a large part of its content, however, I would like to thank Lainey Mililen for her hard work in picking up the pieces and getting this issue to press. I value both of these two people more than anyone will ever know.
Lainey has served our community through this paper for over 15 years and has the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. I thank you Lainey, for all your hard work and look forward to our next issue together and beyond.
Matt Comer is one of the most passionate people I know, he has strong opinions and will push them to the limits. He was the second longest serving editor in this newspaper’s almost 30 years. I wish you, Matt, the best in the next chapter of your life. You are a great writer and I now how much you enjoy working in our community. I thank you for your years of hard work on this paper.
With this, I also have to talk a little about this paper’s journalistic integrity and my own personal integrity. As Matt noted in his personal blog, I would not let him run a piece he wrote about Charlotte Pride in this print issue and had him pull the same story off goqnotes.com. I suggested that his blog was a more appropriate forum for this piece.
The reason for my not running the piece is because of the lack of transparency around Matt’s involvement with Charlotte Pride and its conflict with his job as editor. Matt’s Charlotte Pride board position (Chair, Media and Marketing) was never revealed to me and was in opposition to our agreement made last year and in violation of Matt’s comment, in writing, that he was not on the Board of Directors and would only be a volunteer. “Not on board No vote a volunteer w/media & marketing.)” — Matt Comer.
Approximately two-and-a-half years ago our staff talked about how we have grown journalistically and felt that to do our job well, we would have to back off our personal involvement in areas where our objectivity might be clouded. This became very clear when the LGBT center and Pride separated. There was no way it could be covered objectively by a Pride board member who was also the editor of the paper.
Not being transparent to me was inappropriate. This paper, therefore, not being transparent to you, our readers and advertisers, is simply not acceptable to me. I ask for your forgiveness in my letting this happen and pledge to you that this paper will strive to provide content clear and free of any conflict of interest and with complete transparency going forward.