Excerpts from Mr. Schwada's exit statement (highlighting by me):
A week ago, I was told my KTTV contract would not be renewed. Since then, LA Observed & LA Weekly have reported on my story. But missing in all this has been any public expressions of concern - indignation? – from reporters/the journalism academy. Privately, they have muttered darkly, sympathized. But publicly – in forums where newspeople best practice our craft, express our values – my profession has been silent.
My "firing" (not effective until Aug. 12) has been a shot across the bow of every KTTV reporter. Privately, my colleagues say: "if they're getting rid of you, who's next?" Actually they have nothing to fear - if they stay young and pretty and docile. And, from their failure to publicly show concern when a seasoned and repeatedly honored reporter, is sacked, I think they're well down the road to…self-preservation.
But really what disturbs me most is the silence from my union, AFTRA, and from the journalism academy. When a veteran reporter for no good journalistic reason is dismissed, where are their independent voices? Some of these folks are even protected by tenure? Their silence is particularly disappointing.