U.S. Reporter Who Protested Iraq War Fired
Wed Apr 23, 9:30 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A San Francisco Chronicle reporter suspended after being arrested at a rally opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq (news – web sites) lost his job on Wednesday, a spokesman for the newspaper said.
The Chronicle suspended technology reporter Henry Norr, 57, last month, after he was among more than 1,300 people arrested for blocking public streets the morning after the Iraq war started.
“He no longer works at the Chronicle, effective today,” spokesman Joe Brown (news) said on Wednesday.
Norr said he received a dismissal letter from the Chronicle citing his claim of a sick day to attend the anti-war protest as well as violations of the paper’s news code.
“I regret taking the sick day because it introduced a false issue,” Norr said. “I felt like this was a political attack and an attempt at retaliation and intimidation.”
Unlike many U.S. newspapers, the Chronicle does not bar its reporters from participating in political events, but a memo distributed internally by the paper last month advises its staff to be cautious and gain approval from superiors first.
The paper originally told Norr, who organized marches during the Vietnam War before becoming a journalist, that he was being suspended for wrongly claiming a sick day.
Norr said his union has filed grievances on his behalf and he would also make a complaint under California’s labor code.