Let’s check in with Chris Morris, managing editor of the New Albany Tribune, and a former schoolmate of mine at Indiana University Southeast. We’re looking for clues as to how the Tribune “thinks”:
I’m assuming that the Tribune still is owned by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., which has a listed web site at www.cnhi.com, although this hasn’t been connecting all morning.
I’ve been doing some reading about the topic of newspaper “chain store” ownership, particularly a very good article in the American Journalism Review, available on-line at: http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3245
I don’t think that I’d be overstating the case if I were to suggest that the Tribune generally avoids taking sides in local controversies. Not that this
necessarily is a bad thing, although the conscious avoidance of such does raise certain concerns about the newspaper as a community watchdog and whether in fact the right questions are being asked.
Given that the Tribune tends to aim for a “feel good” approach in the local sense of news coverage, and for the time being accepting this without complaint, might I ask who makes decisions with respect to your nationally syndicated columnists?
Taken together, it cannot be denied by any impartial observer that the slate of syndicated columnists appearing weekly in the Tribune is dominated by
Conservative writers: William A. Rusher, Joseph Perkins, Diana West and Morton Kondracke regular among them. The column by Steve and Cokie Roberts might be said by some to be left leaning, but their tone is reportorial, as opposed to the strident rhetoric offered by Perkins and Rusher (most prominently).
I merely want to know who makes this decision, and why there is not attempt at balance. Does this emanate from cnhi? Is this the norm with the chain’s properties?
Feel free to refer me to a higher-up if it makes this easier for you. By the way, I enjoy the local columnists, especially Terry Cummins and C.R. Reagan. Good stuff from them.
(Here is the response from Chris Morris)
Through United Media Services, I am limited when it comes to
columnists. You are right, more tend to swing from the right. I recently purchased Dan Rather’s column through an outside source but it has been hit and miss. I am glad you like the local columnists.