Photo provided to Courant.
A local McDonald’s and a public relations firm thought they had found the perfect 9/11 anniversary story and the perfect way to raise money for a memorial fund. The Hartford Courant thought it was a good story too. Until it wasn’t.
Saturday morning, the Courant had to publish a new story to correct claims made by a former Colchester fire police volunteer about his memories of working at Ground Zero two days after the attacks. In the original story, Ralph Pallozzi said his memories were too hard to talk about in detail. After the story ran the Courant received a number of calls that said Pallozzi was not among the group of Colchester firefighters who went to New York City to take part in rescue efforts. The role of fire police is to direct traffic at fire scenes.
McDonald’s has apologized. The PR firm has apologized. The Courant has apologized by publishing a more accurate version of events.
From the Courant:
Editor’s note: The Hartford Courant corrected the record as soon as possible after learning that the reporter had been misinformed about the Ground Zero experience. This story additionally corrects the record for those from Colchester who did serve in those tragic days for this nation.
At The Laurel we try to avoid slipping into the rut of pining for the old days when it comes to the state of journalism. The industry has changed. Corners are cut when compared to the standards of a previous era. These facts should be considered by all as they consume the news.
The Courant has endured many staff cuts in recent years and its news staff – including editors and reporters – is now a fraction of what it once was. It is difficult to see this same mistake being made by the Courant – ten, fifteen, twenty years ago.