I assume that everybody who reads this blog also reads Jeff Jarvis' excellent Buzzmachine, probably long before they get here. But for anyone who doesn't, Jeff has a terrific post on the fiasco in Cleveland in which the Plain Dealer hired some partisan bloggers (good idea) and then fired one when he got a bit too partisan (bad idea).
The resulting fallout, as well-documented and analyzed by Jeff, is amusing and sad—a classic case of a newspaper so stuck in the old ways of doing things that it shoots itself in the foot when it ventures into something new. The paper's management has rolled itself into a defensive ball over something that shouldn't have been an issue in the first place, making things worse in the process, and naturally, the controversy is rife with hypocrisy and ignorance on the part of the paper's leaders.
Anyway, go read Jeff's post. I'll get back to my series on what newspapers should be doing to survive in a couple of days. But suffice it to say that what the Plain Dealer is doing is an object lesson on what not to do.
Update: See also McClatchy top editor Howard Weaver's terrific take on things that make newsrooms uncomfortable. Along similar lines, I recently heard Gannett VP for New Media Content Jennifer Carroll say something very, very smart: If there's discomforting language and conversations going on in story comments and discussions, look hard at whether that reflects something in the community that the newspaper should be reporting on, not trying to squelch. In other words, think like a news person, not like a control freak. Dead on.