Another “one size fits all” editorial
Two weeks ago, the Wheeling Intelligencer printed its annual wish-ourselves-happy-birthday editorial in which the editors bragged about their service to the local community:
Our focus, as always, has been on keeping readers up to speed on local news, including our communities’ experiences in battling the coronavirus.
Today's editorial about Labor Day and the “communities’ experiences” fighting coronavirus would appear to support that goal. It doesn't, however. The editorial is not local – it ran, unchanged except for the local reference, in numerous Ogden papers throughout the United States. (The editorial appears to have been written by Gary Andersen and Lee Smith of the Fairmont Sentinel in Minnesota.)
Yes, nothing says “community paper” like printing the same generic editorial in Ogden papers throughout the United States!
From KITV-4 in Honolulu:
Workers at Maui’s only community newspaper are calling on their owner to keep their jobs local.
The Pacific Media Workers Guild, the union that represents The Maui News' roughly 50 employees, says West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers wants to move jobs in sales, editing and design, to the mainland.
“They haven't given us specifics on when they would like to do this, how that would affect our jobs here in the newsroom and what jobs might be lost because of it," said assistant city editor Colleen Uechi, who's been with the paper for about 5 years.
Uechi says contract negotiations have been going since March, with workers on unpaid rolling furloughs and offering various concessions. She worries moving jobs off the islands undermines the trust the paper has built within the community.
A question: how can Intelligencer readers know if veterans are “divided” about Trump’s comments about the military when the paper prints only the first half of an article?
On page 6 of this morning’s Intelligencer, readers can find a much-shortened AP story about Trump’s comments concerning those who serve in the military:
Veterans Are Divided About Reports Trump Disparaged Military
The story broke last Thursday evening and this is the first time that the Intelligencer has covered any part of the story. While the Intelligencer version does not include what Trump supposedly said to provoke the outcry, it does quote those who believe Trump's assertion that he never disparaged the military. Importantly, the Intelligencer version ends halfway through the AP story thus conveniently dropping comments critical of the president. For instance, these two paragraphs are cut from the article:
Other veterans, however, have been disenchanted with Trump for much of his presidency. He mocked Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who died in 2018, for being captured by the enemy while serving in the Vietnam War.
“I understand what The Atlantic reported is probably painful for the president to hear,” said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton. “But it’s not a surprise to anyone in uniform after watching how he behaved toward Sen. McCain.”
So, the Intelligencer covered some of the reaction to Trump’s comments, but it did not include those that were critical, and it still has not covered the original story.
“Good news, bad news” for McKinley’s opponent Natalie Cline
The Democrat’s 1st congressional candidate, Natalie Cline, got her first mention in a Wheeling paper since she was listed as the winner of June’s primary. On the bottom of page B1 of Saturday’s Wheeling News-Register, readers can find this:
Ohio County Democrats Open Headquarters in Wheeling
The article mentions Cline in two paragraphs at the end of the article:
Natalie Cline, the Democratic nominee for West Virginia’s 1st District U.S. House seat, said she is “very hopeful” for Democratic chances in 2020. She said preserving health care benefits for residents is the most pressing issue facing America.
“I am here to fight for every single person, not just corporate interests,” she said. “Health care needs our continuing support. In my opinion, the richest nation in the world should be able to help citizens meet their basic needs, and health care is part of that.”
That’s the good news for Cline. The bad news is that the Ogden papers did the same thing two years ago when they mentioned McKinley’s then-opponent, Kendra Fershee, as they covered a similar Democratic opening. Fershee’s name was not printed again until after the election when she was the subject of a vitriolic editorial. (If you haven’t noticed, Ogden does not like Democratic women.)