Majerus-Collins Quits

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Michael Schroeder. Hartford Courant photo.

Following another revelation in the Hartford Courant about the journalistic practices of Michael Schroeder, the publisher of the New Britain Herald and the Bristol Press, a top writer with the Bristol paper quit on Christmas Eve. And he did so in a very public way.

Steve Majerus-Collins, who has been covering Bristol since 1994, posted on social media that he can no longer work for Schroeder in good conscience. And though he has no idea what he’ll do next, or how he will pay the bills, he knows he can’t take Schroeder’s money.

Schroeder came to prominence in Connecticut journalism a few years ago as the savior of the Press and the Herald. He is the subject of a current controversy relating to his role in the purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal by casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Part of that controversy involves a partially plagiarized story about Nevada business courts, apparently placed by Schroeder in his Connecticut papers, under a pseudonym as a favor to Adelson.

Majerus-Collins writes:

I never saw the piece until recently, but when I did, I knew it had Mr. Schroeder’s fingerprints all over it…the owner of my paper is guilty of journalistic misconduct of epic proportions.
There is no excusing this behavior. A newspaper editor cannot be allowed to stamp on the most basic rules of journalism and pay no price. He should be shunned by my colleagues, cut off by professional organizations and told to pound sand by anyone working for him who has integrity.
So I quit.
I have no idea how my wife and I will get by. We have two kids in college, two collies, a mortgage and dreams of travel and adventure that now look more distant than ever.

Majerus-Collins and his wife Jackie are well-known in Connecticut journalism circles as reporters committed to their community and their craft. Jackie “quit in disgust” with Schroeder’s business practices back in 2011, according to Steve’s post.

It is unclear whether Schroeder or Adelson really care what the Majerus-Collins, or the Hartford Courants of the world think of them, but clearly the decision by Majerus-Collins to quit in such a public way on this holiday weekend suggests there is something wrong at two newspapers which were once part of the fabric of their communities.