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|The Record of Woodland Park on Wednesday started a three-part series on bullying even though some believe there is at least one bully on the North Jersey Media Group payroll.|
North Jersey Media Group fired a freelance reporter after she wrote about cyberbullying for one of its weekly newspapers, AIM Vernon in Sussex County.
On Wednesday, The Record of Woodland Park started a three-part series on bullying, and the focus of Thursday's Page 1 piece is cyberbullying. The first part drew this comment on northjersey.com, the publishing company's Web site:
Wednesday March 30, 2011, 3:19 PM - RosieLee says:
"North Jersey Media Group fired a reporter two weeks ago after they published her article on bullying and the bullies called and threatened to sue the newspaper. Now they are doing a series on bullying? Seems ironic and hypocritical in my opinion."
A source familiar with the firing told Eye on The Record:
"Jessica Zummo, a wonderful reporter for one of their weekly publications, did an article on cyberbullying by adults. She named two people in her article and had a significant amount of documentation to back up her article. The people she named in the article called [NJMG Corporate Attorney] Dina Sforza repeatedly and threatened to sue the paper, if they [NJMG] didn’t fire the reporter. Even though the editor approved the article and even helped the reporter with it, Sforza berated the reporter terribly. NJMG then fired the reporter. This happened about two weeks ago."Zummo worked as a freelance reporter for AIM Vernon for about four years, and was paid $50 a story. I was told she was the weekly paper's only reporter.
Here are links to a Facebook page and a Web site: