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Ellen Soeteber Sighting

Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor Ellen Soeteber has been named the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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Flight of the phoenix: Ellen Soeteber resurfaces in Sun Devil land
A native of East St. Louis, Soeteber joined the Post in 2001 as the paper's sixth editor, and departed shortly after Pulitzer Inc. sold out in 2005 to Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises.

According to the Cronkite School's press release (which I discovered via Jim Romenesko's always-on-the-ball site at Poynter.org), Soeteber, 57, who brought the Post its first newsroom ethics policy, will "teach 'Journalism Ethics and Diversity' -- a new Cronkite School requirement -- starting in January, and work with students and faculty individually and in small groups."

I'll save cynics the trouble of pointing out that one of Soeteber's last and most controversial moves at the Post was the unprecedented correction she and then-managing editor (now editor) Arnie Robbins published in the wake of a series by investigative reporter Carolyn Tuft. The story, about Joyce Meyer Ministries, spurred threats of a lawsuit from the Ministries' attorneys. The 576-word correction -- labeled an "apology" -- spurred a grievance from Tuft and the newsroom's union, the St. Louis Newspaper Guild. A federal labor arbitrator ruled in January that the daily must revoke Tuft's punishment -- a two-day suspension -- and reimburse her for lost pay, but he let stand the apology. (More background in this story and a follow-up blog post, both by Malcolm Gay.)

-Tom Finkel

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