Onward State Editor at Penn State Resigns After Mistaken Scoop About Paterno’s Death

Devon Edwards, the managing editor of Onward State at Penn State University, has suddenly resigned.  The resignation comes hours after the online student news outlet mistakenly reported that former PSU head football coach Joe Paterno had died from lung cancer.

In a series of tweets and a report on its site Saturday evening, Onward State offered the first apparent confirmation of Paterno’s death.  It was quickly picked up by CBS Sports and other media worldwide.  Subsequent conflicting reports and statements from a family spokesman and one of Paterno’s sons led to a retraction and apology.

The grievous error has also compelled Edwards to resign.  In a letter posted on Facebook and the outlet’s site Saturday night, Edwards wrote:

“I never, in a million years, would have thought that Onward State would be cited by the national media, and today, I sincerely wish it never had been. To all those who read and passed along our reports, I sincerely apologize for misleading you. To the Penn State community and to the Paterno family most of all, I could not be more sorry for the emotional anguish I am sure we caused. There are no excuses for what we did. We all make mistakes, but it’s impossible to brush off one of this magnitude. Right now, we deserve all of the criticism headed our way. . . . I will be stepping down from my post as Managing Editor, effective immediately. I take full responsibility for the events that transpired tonight, and for the black mark upon the organization that I have caused.”

Related Post

My Take on the Onward State Paterno Death Error Fiasco

8 Responses to “Onward State Editor at Penn State Resigns After Mistaken Scoop About Paterno’s Death”
  1. Stefan John Jackson says:

    Since JoPa did actually die, does this mean Devon Edwards gets reinstated as Onward State Editor?! Mr. Edwards is either prescient, pre-mature, or The Paterno descendants did what they’ve done a lot of lately, that is draped themselves in self-denying sanctimony. Give Mr. Edwards an A+ in PSU Journalism, credit him for the scoop! At least he was reporting with his head out of the sand …. not up his ass … or that of a pre-teen!

  2. John Landers says:

    I would like to see Joe Paterno’s official death certificate and see the time the doctor’s pronounced him dead. If the time of death is on or before the time Devon Edwards broke the first report of Paterno’s passing then he needs to get his job back and be issued an apology. If Paterno had hung on a few more days this would not even be debatable, but he was indeed confirmed to have died within a few hours of Edwards Tweet. Perhaps Edwards was right and the Paterno was dead and the Paterno Family PR Machine didn’t want the story broke to the world in that manner. Let’s settle any question on this and see the time of death listed on Joe Pa’s death certificate.

  3. Eleonore says:

    He did his job and reported what the sicko was doing, he doesnt really deserve a bad rep.
    Hell, all the stress of dealing with the situation is probably what really killed him.

  4. Caramia says:

    Journalism is not done in isolation. It’s a process involving reporters and editors. What staff doesn’t proof, discuss and approve before anything is posted? The editor should not resign. The staff should stand together and investigate.

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