Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Continuing correspondence with Jesus Díaz Jr.

After I received Mr. Diaz’s response to my follow-up questions (of which he only answered one) I dropped a note to him asking if that meant he had no comment about the other questions. He responded with the following.


You sent me a set of questions. I answered them promptly. The answers show that my involvement with the Cuba Transition Project, which I can only assume was your main concern based on your original questions, is minimal and involves absolute no compensation whatsoever. You then write me follow-up questions that are even more numerous than your original questions. I do not believe that makes much sense.

Best regards,

I felt I had respond, so I sent him the following.
Your answers to my first set of questions were what led directly to the second set and you did ask me "if I needed anything else." The limitations of email make it less natural than if we were speaking in person or on the phone. I am not a trained journalist so perhaps my line of questioning is unorthodox but I think it does make sense. From the second set of questions you chose to only answer one. I simply wanted to know if you purposely chose not answer the other questions or if you perhaps pressed send without thinking about it.

I was left to assume that you did not want to comment. And your response now confirms that you do not want to comment on those other questions. I understand you are on the spot. But it's your job (and your employees job) to put people on the spot to find out information that is important to the public. And I believe questions about the Herald's ethical standards and whether there is a double standard among the rank and file and the executives is such information.

I'm sorry that this has been such a bother for you, but if you check my blog you will notice that I published your answers exactly as you gave them to me. This is not a hatchet job but just one man looking for answers.
I also want to point out that in his response to the first set of questions Mr. Diaz refutes the idea that his advisory board membership on the government-funded Cuba Transition Project is a conflict of interest, at least partially, on the grounds that he is not a reporter or an editor. But Mr. Humberto Castello, who’s title is listed as “Executive Editor” on the Cuba Transition Project and McClatchy web sites and “Director” on El Nuevo Herald’s web site, can not make the same argument. He has, to date, not responded to my email.

So questions remain, whether or not they want to address them.

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