Having endured intense criticism twice in the past six months after publishing controversial stories that sent some readers into fits of rage, the former Miami New Times editor tells the Miami Herald, "I certainly am devoted to journalism, but maybe it would be a good idea to give it a rest for a little while." Nevertheless, Mullin defends "Meth Made Easy," which included a recipe for methamphetamine and caused an uproar when it ran in the San Luis Obispo New Times earlier this month. Mullin says he knew he'd get heat for publishing the recipe, but he still thinks it served two good purposes: It let readers know about the "really awful stuff" that's in meth, and it grabbed people's attention, which kept it "from suffering the fate of so many meth articles -- they don't get read."
Jim Mullin (pictured) drew criticism for a Feb. 2 cover story containing a recipe for methamphetamine, but New Times General Manager Bob Rucker told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that the meth story didn't precipitate his resignation. "There was a problem knowing the audience," Rucker said. Until his resignation Friday, Mullin was working for the California weekly from his home in Miami Beach. He was previously the editor of Miami New Times, but resigned in 2005 shortly after the suicide of former city official Arthur Teele, whose alleged involvement with a transvestite prostitute was exposed in a Miami New Times cover story. (Unlike the Miami paper, SLO New Times is not part of the New Times/Village Voice Media chain.)
The public reaction to the alt-weekly's Feb. 2 issue, which contained a recipe for methamphetamine, dominates this week's issue. In the cover story, Jim Mullin, the paper's new editor, apologizes for provoking community outrage and laments lost readers, distribution points and advertising. Mullin, who was editor of the Miami New Times for 18 years before joining the San Luis Obispo paper, says the meth story "strained to the breaking point a trust that had steadily developed over two decades." He says the paper chose not to use a "scolding" tone in order to avoid alienating young readers, but the "use of sarcasm, designed to hold reader interest, alienated some who believed the subject was too serious to be treated flippantly." This week's issue also includes dozens of angry letters, including those sent by the city's mayor and chief of police.
In his final column as editor of Miami New Times, Jim Mullin (pictured) touches on the "dramatic, dizzying change" that has taken place in the city since the paper debuted over eighteen years ago. Mullin says a paper like his, "with a small staff, closely reflects the personalities who produce it" and gives a shout out to all those who played a role in helping him chronicle the flux in this city that is "long on illusion and short on memory" and where "change is the only constant."
After 18 years at the alt-weekly, Jim Mullin (pictured) will step down from his position. The announcement comes less than a month after former city official Arthur Teele's suicide, which came on the heels of a New Times cover story about Teele's involvement with a transvestite prostitute. Mullin says that while he was "profoundly affected" by the tragedy, he'd been considering leaving the paper for the past year. His successor will be Chuck Strouse, the current editor of New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
Declining ad revenues have hit New Times, forcing layoffs at several papers, including five at Miami New Times. “This year has been a dizzying year for all of us,” Editor Jim Mullin tells the Daily Business Review. The local business journal also reports that the Miami paper has rehired former publisher Michael Cohen, who recently resigned his post at New York Press.