May 2016 blatant news bias exhibited by Steamboat Today
school board members victimized by unfair reporting and irresponsible editing
Here's a recap of some shady reporting by the Steamboat Today newspaper and my doubts about the journalistic neutrality of reporter Teresa Ristow and editor Lisa Schlichtman. These concerns are reinforced by the newspaper Editorial Board's blessing of teachers union goals and disparagement of school board members Roger Good and Joey Andrew for their justified resistance. Readers were fed news through a prism's left facet only, omitting pertinent facts.
The newspaper editorially aligned with unionized teachers in a contentious and intriguing run-up to annual teachers' contract negotiations seating DAUGHTER demanding higher salaries across the bargaining table from MOM on the school board — NO CONFLICT! (sarcasm). The local newspaper cared not! Why would you? Compare Steamboat Today's coverage with rare, competitive news reporting by Complete Colorado following the local paper's dismissal of conflict-of-interest and mom's campaign funding prank. Tone deaf to taxpayers, the paper sidestepped deeper deficit spending concerns.
online Thurs., paper Fri. May 27
Exhibit B: Steamboat Today editorial support of teachers collective bargaining stance on Page 8A — Wednesday June 1, 2016
Exhibit C: contrast Steamboat Today's superficial coverage with reports by Complete Colorado click the header banner Page 2, under LOCAL select Steamboat Springs category: Negotiator's mom changes tune... — Monday June 6, 2016 see also reports on 2/4/2016 and 11/3/2015
In Exhibit A, page 2, bottom of middle column, Ristow's sympathetic coverage quoted teachers union leader Babette Dickson:
"I declare the war against (school board members Roger) Good and (Joey) Andrew"
I asked Editor Schlichtman if her reporter had asked Roger Good for a reaction to Dickson's personally-directed vitriol, as would be Ristow's duty in any contentious story. Schlichtman emailed me back:
To my knowledge, Teresa has attempted to contact Roger for each story. I know he did not return phone calls for the second story. That is my expectation for my reporters and she has already followed that protocol. She is out of town for the Memorial Day Weekend camping and so I am unable to confirm directly with her.
I pressed Ms. Schlichtman for clarification and once again on Monday:
I have asked you 3 times without definitive answer. It's reporter Ristow's duty to ask the accused for response. Was that overture made to Roger Good Thursday?
She did not call Roger for Thursday's article but did for Wednesday. She talked to Joey and assumed both Joey and Roger did not want to respond.
- Exhibit A: Steamboat Today front-page news sweetheart story bumping conflict-of-interest dispute to page 2 —
My email response 2 minutes later:
I believe the newspaper owes an apology to Mr. Good. What do you think?
The editor backed her reporter's failure to perform obligatory due-diligence.
I do not agree but thanks for the suggestion. I've been in communication with Roger and will talk to him directly. No need for a middle man.
You can bet had Good or Andrew personally attacked Dickson with fighting words, Steamboat Today would have aggressively harvested Dickson's reaction and published it as headline news! This is an example of authentic newspaper bias by an operation exhibiting NO SHAME.
With the unanimous 2019 school board approval of a 4½% pay raise for teachers, the Steamboat newspaper brain-trust felt no need to be involved in swaying public opinion, unlike 2016 when a preliminary board split jeopardized teacher pay hikes. Then, the paper got pro-active with its editorial thumb-on-the-scale coupled with sympathetic reporting to notch a win for the union.
THREE YEARS AFTER this episode of railroaded journalism, editor Lisa Schlichtman remains in charge of her news operation.
Nothing to see here, Steamboat readership. Move along now, but remember to patronize the paper's advertisers.
at The Curve on the westside, above loading docks at abandoned 19 year HQ — staff retreated to within a block of the Old Pilot Bldg., in town, July 2018
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