For the first time in years, the Wheeling Intelligencer editorial on the anniversary of its founding does not mention the promise to provide “light and information.” Instead, the paper has rebranded itself as a community newspaper. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to rebrand is
to change the way that an organization, company, or product is seen by the public
and that appears to be what is going on:
We regard ourselves as the community newspaper. Our emphasis is and always has been accurate accounts of what is going on in the Ohio Valley and elsewhere in West Virginia and Ohio.
This was hinted at last week when a News-Register editorial separated itself from metropolitan papers as it mildly scolded the president on “fake news”:
Neither we at the News-Register nor the hundreds of community newspapers throughout our nation are purveyors of “fake news.”
(The paper had it both ways in that editorial; it questioned Trump’s charge of fake news but only as it applied to “community newspapers.”)
A couple of questions, then, for our “community newspaper”:
Since community news happens 7 days a week, does this mean that more than one reporter will work on Saturdays and Sundays? (see here)
Will important local events be covered regardless of their politics (like marches against gun violence)? (see here)
Will all local candidates for office be covered regardless of their affiliation? As I noted on Monday, we have read nothing about Representative McKinley’s opponent, Democrat Kendra Fershee, since the beginning of May.
The editorial tells us:
Special interests and powerful politicians seeking to influence us are wasting their time.
Does that mean no more Ryan Weld, Ryan Ferns, Patrick Morrisey op-eds? Is this the end of all those unlabeled op-ed pieces from Koch-funded groups? (I have my doubts.)
August 24 is the annual spin day for the Intelligencer’s first editor, Archibald Campbell
I wrote about this a couple of years ago:
If you're out on National Road this weekend and pass Greenwood Cemetery, you might want to take a quick glance toward the cemetery to see if any of the graves are spinning. If you see one spinning furiously, rest assured that it's Archibald Campbell's. Campbell was an Unconditional Unionist and the Intelligencer's first important Editor.
I can’t say for sure, but my hunch is that Campbell would be appalled at what has happened to his paper.