SPEAKING OF NEWSPAPERS: Changing media landscape can be confusingJournalism came easier when I was employed at The Telegram from 1984 to 1995. It was the only locally owned news media in town. WEBC Radio and WDSM-TV (now KBJR) had left Superior years earlier, so there was much loyalty attached to the newspaper.
By: Ron Brochu, The Daily Telegram
Journalism came easier when I was employed at The Telegram from 1984 to 1995. It was the only locally owned news media in town. WEBC Radio and WDSM-TV (now KBJR) had left Superior years earlier, so there was much loyalty attached to the newspaper.
Upon returning to The Telegram in 2005, I found the most noticeable change is how readers feel about our affiliation with the Duluth News Tribune. Since 2004, both publications have been owned by the same company -- first Knight Ridder and now Forum Communications. To put it simply, Superiorites were happier when the Trib and Telegram were competitors.
That issue most often surfaces when Wisconsin readers see Telegram stories in the Trib and Trib stories in The Telegram. They assume Superior no longer has an independent newsroom. That’s not the case, however.
While both entities work together in a variety of ways that make good business sense, The Telegram enjoys editorial autonomy. True, we swap stories with the News Tribune every day, but each newspaper decides which ones to run or ignore.
That became an issue in recent weeks with coverage of industrial deaths at a Superior landfill. The News Tribune ran a story about a civil lawsuit among owners of that business and several other firms owned by members of the same family. Daily Telegram editors felt it was not appropriate to pick up that story when the family was grieving the landfill deaths. It was strictly a Telegram decision, and it was made without consulting with or answering to our News Tribune counterparts.
The same is true of our editorial opinions. They are made in Superior by Telegram editors and Douglas County editorial board citizen representatives.
Unfortunately, people who read both publications sometimes confuse which story ran in which newspaper. Last week, for example, The Telegram was strongly criticized in a letter to the editor for content that actually appeared in the News Tribune. That’s a mistake people make every day. After reading the morning Trib, watching CNN, Fox News, reading The Telegram and catching local TV news, the amount of information overload can be tremendous.
We can’t help you with that. But we’ll remain an independent news voice for Superior and Douglas County despite the confusion.