Andrew Coyne used Twitter on Monday to announce that he has resigned as editor of editorials and comment for the National Post, but would continue as a columnist with the paper.
Coyne said his decision was made in response to a decision by the Post not to run one of his columns leading up to the federal election.
Postmedia, which owns the National Post, has endorsed Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. The website Canadaland published a story last Friday saying the paper had spiked a weekend column by Coyne in which he endorsed a different party.
Coyne offered his reasoning for stepping down in a series of numbered tweets this morning.
So anyway… I have resigned as editor of Editorials and Comment for the National Post, effective immediately. I will remain a columnist.— @acoyne
2. Postmedia executives and I had a professional disagreement. Their view was that the publication of a column by the editorial page editor…— @acoyne
3. … dissenting from the Post’s endorsement of the Conservatives would have confused readers and embarrassed the paper.— @acoyne
4. My view was that that was what I was paid to do as a columnist: give my honest opinion on issues of public interest.— @acoyne
5. I don’t see public disagreement as confusing. I see it as honest. Readers, in my view, are adults & understand that adults can disagree.— @acoyne
6. The confusion, if any, would have been to have left the impression that the paper’s views were mine, or that my views were the paper’s.— @acoyne
7. To be clear, the owners and managers of a newspaper have a perfect right to set the paper’s editorial line as they wish.— @acoyne
8. Likewise they have a perfect right to decide who and what they wish to publish in their pages.— @acoyne
9. Nobody has a God-given right to be published and the country will get along very well without me telling them how to vote.— @acoyne
10. My concerns were and are merely a) that there should be no suggestion that I was personally endorsing or voting for the Conservatives.— @acoyne
11. And b) that I could not do my job as a columnist if I was obliged to stay silent where these conflicted with those of management.— @acoyne
12. While Postmedia’s intervention was unprecedented in my experience, I could not allow the precedent to stand.— @acoyne
13. So to protect my reputation and to preserve my editorial freedom as a columnist, I felt it necessary to resign the editorial position.— @acoyne
He announced which party he would cast his ballot for and his prediction for tonight's election results over Twitter as well.
Coyne's decision to step down has received mixed reaction online.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May applauded his decision.
So did the CBC's Rosemary Barton.
So 👊 @acoyne.— @RosieBarton
And these Canadians.
I often disagree with Coyne, but he's a true man of principle. https://t.co/g2Pzqw0idb— @realchet
for the record, the political parties involved don't matter to me, i respect coyne for choosing honesty, whatever form that may have taken— @akurjata
Others have been more critical.
I worked for an editor told to sacrifice editorial integrity/cut staff. He resigned to spare us. He didn't keep his column. Coyne is no hero— @jjfantauzzi
And then there was this election prediction.
Coyne regularly appears as a commentator on CBC.
He is scheduled to take part in CBC's election special Monday night starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.