Thursday, January 20, 2022

Black Woman Who Replaced Klan-Loving Newspaper Publisher Resigns

Elecia R. Dexter

*Last month, Elecia R. Dexter replaced Goodloe Sutton as editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter of Linden. But weeks later, she is calling it quits due to Sutton’s constant interference.

As previously reported, Sutton was forced to step down after he penned an article for the publication that called for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again.”

Now Dexter has stepped down after a few weeks on the job, citing interference from the newspaper’s owner.

“I would have liked it to turn out a different way, but it didn’t,” Dexter, 46, told the New York Times. “This is a hard one because it’s sad — so much good could have come out of this.”

News of her resignation was first reported by The Times and confirmed by Saturday in an interview with Linden [Ala.] Mayor Charles Moore.

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“Moore said that Elecia R. Dexter, who was named as the news editor and publisher on Feb. 21, was ‘ran off’  by the former publisher, Goodloe Sutton.

“ ‘He never left the building,’ said Moore about Sutton, whose family has owned and operated the Democrat-Reporter based in Linden since 1917. ‘

“ ‘I would like to see them fade out, I mean, really, he’s been in the position over the years that he could’ve done a lot of good stuff here in Marengo County,’ said Moore, who accuses Sutton of tearing down the county and writing racially-insensitive articles that have upset black residents in a county that is a majority black. . . .”

Sarah Mervosh reported Friday for the Times, “ ‘I would have liked it to turn out a different way, but it didn’t,’ Ms. Dexter, 46, said in an interview Friday. ‘This is a hard one because it’s sad — so much good could have come out of this.’

Mervosh also wrote, “Amid the controversy last month, Mr. Sutton, 80, offered to hand the paper over to Ms. Dexter, who had been working there as an office clerk. Though she did not have journalism experience, she said she was excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the community.

“But in the weeks since, Ms. Dexter said she ran into problems with Mr. Sutton, who retained ownership of the paper, which had been in his family for decades.

“Ms. Dexter said she was stepping down to maintain her ‘integrity and well-being.’ . . .”

Separately, Marlon A. Walker, vice president for print of the National Association of Black Journalists, told Journal-isms on Sunday, “I spoke with Ms. Dexter several times this week after she called me concerned with the editor continuing to infiltrate the pages, despite his promises to let her lead. She didn’t have any experience, but I put together a team of NABJ volunteers to write, edit and advise as she decided whether to buy the paper.

“The work isn’t over. She said the paper’s business license lapsed years ago and the city did nothing about it. I’m asking that they make Goodloe Sutton pay or shut him down.”


Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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