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Sacramento Bee reporter fired for covering game off TV

Posted: Wednesday August 20, 2003 4:00PM; Updated: Wednesday August 20, 2003 4:00PM
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SACRAMENTO (AP) -- A veteran Sacramento Bee sports reporter was fired because he hid the fact that he did not file a story about a San Francisco Giants' game from the ballpark, his editor said Wednesday.

Sports Editor Armando Acuna also said that reporter Jim Van Vliet included old, unattributed quotes from other news outlets in the story about the Giants' Aug. 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Pacific Bell Park.

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Van Vliet watched the game on television from another location, Acuna said.

"We took this action because we value our credibility and integrity," he said. "It's just a line you don't cross."

He said the Bee was also checking whether Van Vliet used quotes from other news organizations without attribution in other stories.

The Bee announced the firing in a statement from Acuna that was printed on the front page of Wednesday's sports section.

"The story violated basic journalistic values and ethics as practices by The Bee," the statement said, adding that the paper "regrets the situation and apologizes to its readers."

Van Vliet did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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