Cooks Source Magazine Folds, Editor Issues Bitter Statement

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Whether or not the intentions of the angry Internet mob was to tear down a local publication or not, the Cooks Source Magazine controversy has forced the magazine to fold. In an interview with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Griggs tells the reporter that the free magazine is done for. The November 2010 issue will be the last publication.

“The name is compromised, big time,” Griggs said.

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In a previous interview with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the editor and publisher admitted she was going around to her advertisers and apologizing personally for the additional stress this was causing them. Griggs herself received over 400 emails, and her advertisers reported receiving angry calls and emails as well. “We were getting e-mail after e-mail — 50 or 60 emails,” said Laura Puchalski, owner of 2nd Street Baking Co. in Turners Falls to the Boston Globe. “Some of them were really very nasty — like, ‘How dare you support plagiarism?’ It kind of freaked us out. We’re a new business.” She pulled their advertising, adding she would have done it anyway even without the Internet mob prompting her.

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In one last attempt to explain herself, Griggs confirmed she posted a statement on the Cooks Source website, removing what was assumed to be the official apology letter. This latest statement, riddled with tons of grammatical errors and misspellings, tries to argue that the story was copied during a late night editing session where Griggs found herself missing material to fill her magazine. “Instead of picking up one of the multitude of books sent to me and typing it, I got lazy and went to the www and “found” something. Bleary-eyed I didnt notice it was copy written and reordered some of it. I did keep the author’s name on it rather than outright “stealing” it, and it was my intention to contact the author, but I simply forgot, between proofreading, deliveries, exhaustion,” she writes.

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The statement goes on to hint that author Monica Gaudio is the one to blame for not understanding how stressful it is for Griggs to run a publication and the plight of local restaurants in a downtrodden economy. The editor accuses Gaudio of hurting her publication and other businesses with the author’s campaigning for payment. “I have been busy for the last week, apologising [sic] to these business owners and helping them to get things right again. If my apology to Monica seemed shallow it was because I was angry about the harm she has inflicted on others on behalf of her own agenda,” Griggs wrote. Gaudio says she did nothing more than post the story and an excerpt of her email exchange with Griggs, which Techland has confirmed ran from October 28 to November 2, on her Live Journal and did not participate in any other online activities.

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Gaudio told Newsfeed that she just wanted a public and printed apology and a donation of $130 to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which she thought was fair payment for the length of the article. While Griggs does not deny that Gaudio made those demands to her, the editor points out that the story is not as clear-cut as it seems. In the statement, she said that Gaudio was rude and the editor always planned to pay the author after the latest issue was finished, but due to other events, she was unable to deal with the situation right away.

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“She doesnt [sic] say that she was rude, she doesnt say that I agreed (and did) to pay her. It was my plan to contact her after deadline and have a good discussion about it. The complicating issue was that one of the businesses we worked with had closed without notice, just a sign on the door — leaving several people, including a chef who had relocated to this area from Florida — out of work. I do not offer this as an excuse, but that, when she wanted money for Columbia University, it seemed ironic because there were all these people in this small town going into the holidays with no jobs, and no, well, nothing,” Griggs stated.

The statement will remain for a couple of days until Griggs will take down the website all together.