OLD Media Moves

Utah papers, AP ignore the Overstock story

December 27, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Business journalist Gary Weiss writes on SeekingAlpha.com about how the Utah business media only report one side of the Overstock.com story.

Weiss writes, “When I pointed out a few weeks ago that the Utah media hadn’t made any mention of the company’s abysmal third-quarter report, or its disclosure that it was close to defaulting on banking covenants, I received an email from the News’s business editor, Jordan Burke.

“‘We’re building up the staff so we haven’t had time to go after all the stories we’d like to,’ he said.

“I wrote back: ‘Just out curiosity, is that your explanation for not covering Overstock’s third quarter earnings? You didn’t have the staff?’ There was no response.

“You can bet your life that if the Deseret News ever does ‘staff up,’ it will set loose its hungry reporters not on actual journalism about Overstock, but on glorified public relations. After all, there’s plenty of competition on that score from the AP bureau and the Salt Lake Tribune.

“What’s sad is that this kind of systematic cowardice is not unique to Utah. Newspapers around the country are cutting back on their staffs. Reporters are forced to seek jobs elsewhere, and to cling to the ones they have. There’s simply nothing to be gained by writing stories about a local businessman that are going to result in angry approaches to one’s boss.”

Read more here.

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