Jurassic Journalism sunsets as skewed perspective sinks the boat
Northwest Colorado daily dinosaur of a newspaper floundering in its idealistic quagmire
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Steamboat newspaper editor Lisa Schlichtman confessed in the December 7, 2017 edition, "Over the past several years, the number of people who subscribe to the Pilot & Today has decreased, and as a result of declining readership, we are considering making the Sunday publication free". In a companion online survey, she tossed readers a jump-ball on the tabloid's identity: Shall it be known as Steamboat Today OR Steamboat Pilot?
The public's preference was for the Pilot option. A Steamboat Pilot & Today masthead launched April 9, 2018 in Monday through Saturday editions, retaining the mismatched steamboattoday.com identity. Newspapers are this century's buggy-whips, used by drivers of horse-drawn carriages, rendered irrelevant and worthlessly dated as motor vehicles arrived, just as online news, with each day's passing, asserts its role at the forefront of public outreach.
At its core, the Steamboat News Manufacturing Company (sarcasm) reveals an unmistakable, if sloppy, left-leaning reporting bias, in-house penned editorials, and a reliable stable of lockstep, syndicated columnists and political cartoon character assassins < < page 11's ©WOLVERTON spoof appears to be premised on a discredited BuzzFeed blunder, fact-checked as UNPROVEN by SNOPES. As self-appointed social activists, the newspapers' editor and some of her reporters engage in the populist crusade for affordable housing while the paper's editorial board heartily endorsed unionized teachers as it shamed two school board members a couple years ago. Whether it's their giveaway newspapers or guilting the wealthy to subsidize the poor beyond their voluntary charitable giving AND the governments' redistributive welfare handouts, today's idealistic journalists are more dependent on advertising and less on end-user payments, likely resulting from a myopic inability to honestly and comprehensively report news. By contrast, self-starters and entrepreneurs embracing supply-and-demand capitalism grasp self-correcting market forces driving innovation, rewarding reasoned investing and risk-taking, enjoying remuneration and the unlimited potential derived from individual and collaborative success delivering what the marketplace applauds.
Liberal J-school professors have been instructing aspiring journalists to advance socialist values for over a generation now. Any imagined remedy invented by liberal ideologues in the media for any perceived economic disparity becomes a self-inflicted curse betraying The People to whom The Media aspires and is obliged to inform! NEVER in history has socialism lifted a nation in the long run. It promises the mirage of equality by dragging down the economic condition of all — everyone, that is, except for the paid propagandists and their patrons, the elite bureaucrats who prosper by decree within an otherwise decadent wasteland where common people pay the puppets who promised paradise. Consider North Korea's fantasy. Imagine the USA succumbing.
Another Inconvenient Truth: why won't liberal newspapers, fond of damning coal extraction, report on the disgusting environmental consequences of their disposable dailies? It's hypocrisy — a double standard! Paper mills, serving the newsprint addiction of these papers, have a poor environmental record. They're a major contributor to deforestation as well as air and, on occasion, soil contamination.
As newspapers experiment with advertisement-saturated online editions, the newsrooms' dual demands to serve electronic and tactile audiences has jacked-up operating costs. Each time a technology update or reformat is implemented — BOOM — an inevitable stress on newspaper business models — economically unsustainable. There's a special justice knowing leftist ideologues haven't a clue when bitten in the ass economically for failing the public trust.
Glance at the headlines in online news aggregators: they scream for audience with click-bait. More than a generation ago, journalists honored an institutional credo to report news with neutrality and avoid bias. Today, journalist egos peddle advocacy and damnation, spinning facts according to instructed and cultivated sensitivities. A popular police drama from the days of black and white television was Dragnet. Co-star Jack Webb played the role of detective Joe Friday. "Just the facts, ma'am," was his signature warning in the cop shop's interrogation room. Today's journalism finds that approach unfashionable. Fast forward to the 1987-88 TV series Max Headroom, a disembodied, reconstituted television newscaster and blip-verts, synopsizing everything in 3 second bursts. Today's journalism revolves around instructive "social teaching moments" and interpreting what presumably motivates the President of the United States and other newsmakers with whom these wiseacres invariably find fault, piling-on, over and over and over again.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Steamboat Today's front page, left-column headline read From the publisher: With change brings progress. Steamboat Today publisher Suzanne Schlicht says "goodbye to a tradition dating back more than 100 years." The daily's local printing presses shut down, surrendering this time-and-distant-critical task to Swift's regional printing center in Gypsum, 90 miles south of Steamboat. The roundtrip to truck product up Colorado route 131 to Steamboat contributes to air pollution EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, AND the enforced push-back of deadlines to press has impacted traditional, reportorial efficiencies. On Thursday, December 7, 2017, there was a contentious faceoff at the town's library. A day and a half later it was reported in Saturday morning's edition as front page, headline news: Steamboat crowd howls over Sierra Club's goals for wolf reintroduction. Such delayed reports amount to either lipstick on a pig or, minimally, an indignity to readers trying to keep up with the news! After a 26 year career with the Steamboat publication, Publisher Schlicht, still quite young, retired April 2, 2018.
In embellished news reporting about what a great move it would be for the City of Steamboat to purchase its west-side behemoth for $5,500,000, the newspaper potentially violated journalistic ethics: editorializing in a news story involving itself. The City wisely turned down the paper's suggestion. If and when the Pilot's largely-vacant office/warehouse at US 40 and 129 GETS sold, will it become known as New/Old Pilot Building? Main Street's already got an Old Pilot Building!
SteamboatYesterday May 2016 example of left leaning bias recent GOOFs by Pilot-Today
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