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Arbitration between reporter and <I>Post-Dispatch</i> begins today

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By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Two investigative articles that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year are still a matter of dispute between the newspaper and its reporter.

Carolyn Tuft and the Post-Dispatch will go into arbitration Wednesday and Thursday over two articles Tuft wrote about the Joyce Meyer Ministries in the spring of 2005.

The newspaper later ran an apology saying the stories contained errors and suspended Tuft for two days without pay.

St. Louis Newspaper Guild business representative Shannon Duffy says the paper caved to Joyce Meyer Ministries and damaged Tuft's reputation as a reporter.

"We're talking about someone who spent the last 25 years building that reputation and then to have your employer not stand behind you, just kick you under the bus so-to-speak, is a hell of way to be treated," Duffy said.

Tuft says the last 14 months have been the toughest of her career.

"The idea that they chose to believe Joyce Meyer and her lawyers over me after everything I've done at the paper, was devastating," she said.

The union and Tuft are asking the newspaper to rescind its apology and pay the reporter for the two days she was suspended.

Post-Dispatch editor Arnie Robbins did not return calls to KWMU, but he told The Associated Press that Tuft's stories had some problems.

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