Newspaper executive reveals a rather unjournalistic attitude

Today’s banner story in the Las Vegas newspaper about its own reporters being assigned to closely watch a judge who is presiding over a case involving the paper’s new owner is probably a bit inside baseball for most readers and has a bit of a hole — who made the assignment and why.

Elizabeth Gonzalez

The story says three unnamed reporters were told to cover three judges for two weeks but what they recorded was never reported. One of the judges was Elizabeth Gonzalez, who is handling a civil case involving Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, who recently bought the Review-Journal for $140 million.

The assignment to monitor judges came from corporate headquarters at GateHouse Media through R-J Publisher Jason Taylor, we are told, but Gonzalez was selected at the R-J — though not within the newsroom. Kind of puts a kink in the story or raises questions about someone’s veracity, though numerous other coincidences outlined in the story seem to adequately connect the dots.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the lengthy and convoluted tale was a quote from the head of the newspaper group ownership and is contained in this passage:

Whether there was a link between the GateHouse-ordered court monitoring assignment, the critical article in New Britain and the sale of the RJ to the Adelson family remains unclear.

Michael Reed, CEO of New Media Investment Corp., the parent company of GateHouse Media, declined to comment when asked whether Adelson was involved in the court monitoring directive. He said the effort was part of a “multistate, multinewsroom” investigative effort initiated by GateHouse, but said he did not know who started it or how it was approved.

“I don’t know why you’re trying to create a story where there isn’t one,” Reed told an RJ reporter on Wednesday. “I would be focusing on the positive, not the negative.”

In a later interview with The Associated Press, Reed rejected the notion that the Review-Journal’s integrity had been challenged by the secrecy surrounding its sale. He said the public didn’t care about the buyer and that reporters pushed the story with the intention of creating controversy.

“I just wish reporters had better hearts and better intentions than just trying to slam media companies trying to do good,” he said.

Taylor has said he has been assured by the Adelsons that they won’t meddle in the editorial content of the newspaper.

Positive, not negative? Integrity not challenged by secret ownership? Public doesn’t care? Creating controversy? Won’t meddle?

What planet is this guy from?

 

 

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2 comments on “Newspaper executive reveals a rather unjournalistic attitude

  1. Steve says:

    Adeleson may well be able to erect a solid wall between himself and his effect on the paper but only time will tell.
    It is obvious he has wanted ownership of the RJ for quite a while and he does have roots in newspapers from his youth in the battlezone known as Dorchester, MA.
    I’m inclined to say give it some time.

    Now, these people in their management, that is another question entirely. Trying to keep this secret from the very investigative specialists they hope to keep working was a failed effort from conception. It would have been far more intelligent to inform the reporters and let them know the information has a timeline and what that timeline was.
    Investigative journalists are not mushrooms, they don’t like being in the dark, but they can be very easy to make a deal with if shown the reasons why.

  2. rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com says:

    Tom I know I owe you money, I don’t forget, and I appreciate your patience but I like to invite you to Face The Tribune to talk about the Adelson-RJ issue because I believe that no one know more about this than you and I respect your opinion. You pick the day, preferable Monday or Tuesday so I can write the editorial and a front page article after listening to you.I assume you know we move to 716 South 10th.Street / and Charleston.Thank you for your support.Rolando

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