WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Media Company Spikes Critical Column

Feb 5, 2019

GateHouse Media reportedly refused to run a column titled "Media Under Siege" that, among other things, criticized the company.  The piece was written by Randy Miller, who retired from the Hawk Eye in Burlington a few years ago.  He continued to write a column for the paper but – due to the "Media Under Siege" piece -- it appears his contributions are no longer welcome.

Shop Talk panelist Will Buss said GateHouse has continued to gut its product while fattening its bottom line. He said when a newspaper has fewer reporters, the community has fewer watchdogs. That potentially makes it easier for public officials to get away with malfeasance.

Buss feels Miller’s criticisms are spot on because GateHouse does not invest in its staff, technology, or the overall product.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton said media corporations feel no obligation to serve the public. She said their goal is to serve shareholders. 

Crighton also said ethics go out the window when money is tight and executives instead of journalists are the ones making newsroom decisions.

Panelist Rich Egger said the media is indeed under siege from corporations such as GateHouse. He said the company missed an opportunity to start a discussion about journalism, though perhaps it’s not a conversation GateHouse is interested in holding.

Shop Talk is a panel discussion featuring Jasmine Crighton, News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University; Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at WIU and advises the student editors at the Western Courier; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.