AFP Owner Admits Editor Lied to APN; Co-Editor Displeased

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(APN) ATLANTA — One of the co-owners of Atlanta Free Press, Matt Neumann, admitted on the blog comments section of Project Q Atlanta that Zack Hudson, Editor of AFP, lied to Atlanta Progressive News in a previous article.

Previously, APN reported that Hudson had been terminated from Southern Voice magazine for allegedly fabricating quotes and sources in two articles.

When APN had asked Hudson about the magazine’s claims, he said he could not talk about the incident because he had sued Window Media–owner of Southern Voice, David, and other publications nationwide–and because one of the stipulations of the settlement was that neither party could discuss the incident.

However, former Window Media employees said no lawsuit was ever filed by Hudson and APN’s research turned up no evidence of any lawsuit.

When APN had notified Hudson there did not appear to be any lawsuit, Hudson said he would send APN a copy of the filing but would not be able to do so until next week.

“As for the infamous, ‘I can’t talk about it because of litigation’ comment by Mr. Hudson to a ‘reporter,’ that was a bold face lie,” Neumann wrote.

“A lie from a man who had just worked a day job for eight hours and completed a 14-hour layout marathon to get this weeks issue to press and who had been hounded for hours for a comment on the situation,” Neumann wrote.

For the recond, APN had not been hounding Hudson for hours. APN sent Hudson one email, to which he responded. At the end of a phone interview regarding his vision for AFP, APN asked Hudson about the alleged fabrication, and that’s when Hudson lied.

“To me it’s just like when the telemarketer calls to sell you a subscription to the AJC and you reply, ‘Oh no thanks. I already get it.’ Anything to get them off of the phone,” Neumann wrote.

Still, Neumann insisted that he would not accept Hudson’s resignation and that he would stand by him.

“I stand firmly behind Zack Hudson. He has done a super job at putting a paper together from scratch and getting it out on the street in just a few days,” Neumann wrote.

“None of us are perfect. None of us without blemish. I am a firm believer in second chances. After all who has more to prove and more motivation than someone given a second chance,” Neumann wrote.

“Zack has offered his resignation to me several times today, I have refused it,” Neumann wrote. “I believe he shares my vision for a strong, independent and fair publication for our community. He has demonstrated a level of commitment and passion that I rarely find these days. He has not let me down,” Neumann wrote.

This does not make Contributing Editor, Xanna Don’t, very happy. Don’t tells APN that if she had known that Hudson had previously fabricated sources at Southern Voice, she would never have agreed to work with him at AFP.

Don’t said she has told Neumann that she does not intend to continue working at the same publication as Hudson and that she expects resolution to the impasse within the coming days.

Project Q Atlanta and a national blog, Queerty, covered the story about AFP and Husdon, which Atlanta Progressive News broke earlier this week. Neumann published similar comments on both blogs.

AFP is owned by Neumann and Chip O’Kelley, the owners of Nightlife Media Group, which also owns Gaydar, a glossy publication that covers Atlanta’s GLBT club scene [similar to the former David Magazine].

The first issue of AFP was distributed throughout Atlanta’s GLBT community on December 10, 2009. AFP is the first GLBT print news publication to emerge after the closure of Southern Voice [and David Magazine] a month ago.

The second print issue hit shelves Thursday, December 19.

Meanwhile, former Southern Voice editors and staffers have launched an effort to start a new publication, GA Voice, to begin circulation early in 2010.

Project Q Atlanta also reported that–bizarrely–there appears to be another fledgling publication and website calling itself Atlanta Free Press, apparently planning to launch a new GLBT news service.

Project Q Atlanta also reports that a possible fourth new GLBT publication, Pulse, is being developed by Keith Gross, an openly homosexual candidate for the Georgia legislature.

HUDSON’S TERMINATION FROM SOUTHERN VOICE

Southern Voice ran “A Note to Our Readers” on page 3 of the November 07, 2007 issue, regarding the alleged fabrication, according to a copy obtained by APN.

“An article in the Sept. 21, 2007, issue of Southern Voice (“Learning to give back: ZAMI honors gay students for community work”) contained quotes attributed to scholarship winners Naima Lowe and Charles Rice-Gonzalez,” Southern Voice wrote.

“Both Lowe and Rice-Gonzalez say they were never interviewed for the article and never said the quotes attributed to them.”

“An article in the Nov. 6, 2007, issue (“Same-sex unions become issue in Ga. congressional race”) contained a quote from a source identified as “Don Wilson, a political science and history professor at Georgia Southwestern State University.” According to the university, no such person was employed there,” Southern Voice wrote.

“Both articles were written by Zack Hudson, a staff reporter who was terminated Oct. 29, 2007,” Southern Voice wrote. “Southern Voice deeply regrets the incidents.”

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News and is reachable at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com.

Revised syndication policy:

Our syndication policy was updated June 2007. For more information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive News content, please visit: http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html

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