So what do noosepapers expect of hard-charging columnists when they go to the women’s section? If she’s a mother, they’d like something about breastfeeding in public, Debra Pickett found out at Sun-Times — as by Phil Rosenthal of Chi Trib, who ran this a day after Michael Miner blogged it at Chi Reader.
Once a weekly Page 2 columnist . . . and cast as one of [S-T’s] rising stars, Pickett had her column moved back into the Lifestyles section while she was on maternity leave. When an editor this week passed along [publisher] Cooke's suggestion that she ought to write about breastfeeding in public, it was a stark reminder of what being in the Lifestyles section might entail, and she quit.
"I didn't quit in protest over a single assignment," said Pickett, the 34-year-old whose column was for a few years was called "Age 29." "That seems to be the story going around, and it's very `Norma Rae.' ... But the question was what were expectations of me going to be when I got back, and that was a pretty good illustration."
Get personal, he said.
None of your business, she replied.
Later: Automatic response from her Sun-Times address is “Debra is on maternity leave and will return to work in January.” Asked Phil Rosenthal, whose item is quoted above, about it. He: “She quit. It's possible she doesn't have access to her Sun-Times e-mail account anymore.”
Yet more: As said above, Chi Reader’s Michael Miner blogged the story in detail. Among comments is this good one from “Insideout”:
The serendipitous beneficiary to this fascinating story is the kid. He now gets a full-time mom, who's there whenever he needs her---not when she decides to bestow "quality time."