Mountain Xpress photog: I did not leak letter, and coverage of Xpress turmoil is incomplete

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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mountainxlogoHere’s the note I received last night from former Mountain Xpress photographer Max Cooper, who was fired after submitting a letter to Xpress editor Margaret Williams seeking more information on the recent turmoil inside the alt weekly.

Hello Jason: I have no expectation that you will remove the post about my letter to Margaret Williams, so I will not ask. I am also aware that in writing to you I am speaking on the record. I encourage you to accept this email as my statement on the letter and I hope you’ll include it in your coverage.

I will confirm that I wrote and delivered this letter. I will confirm that I parted ways with the Mountain Xpress the day after the letter was delivered, though at this time I will not comment on the nature of that departure.

Because you may have received this from an anonymous source, I will state for the record that I am not that source. I did not leak this letter to you or any media outlet, I had no knowledge of it being leaked and I disapprove of it being leaked. I was not contacted for comment, or even to confirm the validity of this letter and your account of the facts surrounding it. This letter was meant as an internal communication and was, in fact, delivered in such a way that made it more secure. I took those measures specifically because of recent leaks to your site.

With all due respect, your coverage is incomplete. I hope your readers will remember that there are two sides to every story and that leaked communications from one party only represent one of those sides. If you feel there is a story here, and if you deem it valuable to your readers, I encourage you to pursue it according to the tenets of journalism.

It’s a tough time for Asheville’s media family. I hope everyone involved finds peace.

Thank you,

Max Cooper

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Jim Shura November 5, 2013

    I guess photographers are a dime a dozen around here.

  2. MM November 5, 2013

    This is true. Max actually printed it out and handed it out to each recipient personally. Or tried to … at least to the ones who showed up to the meeting.


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