Video-Mayor Pam Miller Attempts To Deep Six Glen Rose Reporter Because She Doesn't Like Criticism
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Video-Mayor Pam Miller Attempts To Deep Six Glen Rose Reporter Because She Doesn't Like Criticism
12 July 2010 at 12:47:13 AM
I saw that Mayor Miller had put a discussion of whether to keep the Glen Rose Reporter as the official newspaper on the agenda for July 12 2010. Since the City Council had used the smaller circulation newspaper for two years prior, for 2010 until 2011 they voted to have the Glen Rose Reporter as the official newspaper, and said they were going to rotate between them, to be fair. When I first saw this, my first thought was that Mayor Miller wanted to retaliate for the very pointed editorials that Kathryn Jones has been running in the paper. One of the editorials, for example, was about how and why the city needs an administrator. I think Ms Jones has attempted to be very fair in her writings but they also appeared in a clearly labeled "Opinion" column. I find it very refreshing to hear more than just a regurgitation of the facts (although usually the facts can speak for themselves without any editorializing), but apparently Mayor Miller didn't care for it. Perhaps she didn't like Ms Jones editorial about nepotism, since her son was head of the 4b. Or maybe she didn't like the paper printing Charley Thomas' editorial in which he called City Council a circus! Who knows?
I thought, though, that surely she wouldn't present changing the official newspaper designation mid-stream as a petty issue simply because she didn't like the editorials. Surely she would bring up a more fiscal reason, like whether it costs less to use the other paper, or whether it would reach more people, etc. Nope. She allowed herself to be seen an intolerant enemy of free speech who wanted nothing more than to exercise control over the 4th estate.
What actually happened is that Ms Jones and Linda Rowe came prepared to the meeting with a handout, which I am pasting in here.
Statement of Kathryn Jones
Glen Rose Reporter
July 12, 2010
To the Glen Rose City Council:
As you can see from the attached figures compiled by another government entity here in town, the Glen Rose Reporter's circulation is about four times that of the Glen Rose Newspaper's – 3,000 to 750. The Hospital Authority Board's public relations committee compiled this in preparation for advertising for its Town Hall meeting in March.
The figures would be even greater if you counted the total number of readers because one newspaper often gets passed around to friends and family members, and a household often shares a single newspaper subscription or one purchased at a retail outlet.
The Reporter's advertising rates have gone up a little since then, but I think it's easy to tell you get more bang for your buck and reach many more readers each week with the Reporter. Municipal entities usually advertise in the newspaper with the larger circulation, although it's not a requirement. Public notices are meant to be noticed.
So the timing of this debate and the decision you are contemplating makes no logical sense.
I also would like to submit these guidelines for a newspaper of record published by the Texas Press Association, of which the Glen Rose Reporter is a member. According to the TPA, there are four key elements to public notice:
“First, public notice must be published in an independent forum.
“Second, when newspapers publish public notice, it serves as a public record. Newspapers are a historical archive.
“Third, public notice must be accessible, and fourth, the notice has to to be verifiable.”
The Reporter meets all of those criteria.
I believe this is driven less by economics and more by displeasure at the paper's coverage of city government and particularly my columns that have challenged decisions made at Town Hall and have brought to light a range of errors, such as the repeated misposting of notices of public meetings.
In other words, this smacks of retaliation.
However, I prefer to stick to the facts, and the facts show that the Reporter has several orders of magnitude more readers than the other newspaper. I also would argue that each week the paper also carries more news about a variety of subjects. Moreover, our circulation is rising. Each week we gain new subscribers. Somebody obviously likes the Reporter's coverage.
Public notices are extremely important. They help maintain transparency in government and keep governments accountable to the people they serve.
It would be a shame for the citizens of Glen Rose if the council based a significant decision such as this one on anything less than facts.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak. I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Also on the handout are the circulation numbers.
Glen Rose Newspaper 750
Glen Rose Reporter 3000
I'm not including the rates here but they're cheaper!
Discussion and possible action on the official newspaper designation for the rest of the year. I put that on because I've had a lot of people contact me, it's interesting... about the Glen Rose Reporter being our official newspaper and there have been so much negative publicity on the city and often the information provided is partial truths and the information that was in the paper have not been in the minutes when we come back and listen to the minutes. And so they.. I wanted to put this on here and let people decide what we should do, keep it or want to move, we spend a lot of money with them, and for it not to be true on what's being said, and people are quoted as saying things but they're not quoted, and we can't change that negativsm, we can't change the partial truths but we have to decide if we want to continue to put our money and our advertising with them... I don't know what your feelings are... put it up and let us all discuss it. Stricklin-we've probably already discussed that we're going to get into a rotation system .. to make it fair.. set them up for a year.. if you're gonna change every time you get a negative comment in the paper, you're going to bounce back and forth every month. Miller: Comments I've heard is that it's always negative and they don't get (can't make out word) to the city. Striclin-I've read it, I don't get that take from it. Barbara or Sue, are you hearing anything? Martin. How much time left? Miller: January. If we want to leave it then we just won't do any official action... Mitchell- my reason was about the Rose being locally owned. Miller-what are your feelings? Barbara? Sue? (All want to leave it) no action.
As you can see from above, Ms Jones was RIGHT when she said that the Mayor's actions smacked of retaliation. Miller didn't even make a pretense of saying it was for any other reason.
Notice that she had ZERO concrete examples to show of what she was claiming. If what she was saying had some merit, why wasn't she prepared with the newspaper article, in hand, and a transcript or the audio of the meeting to SHOW that what was said is partial truths? She said that the information in the newspaper doesn't match the minutes-well.. where was her PROOF? Where also were the written complaints of people who were affected by the dastardly deed of actually telling how things are, even if the truth is a little rough to take? She had not ONE solid complaint in hand-in fact, hub asked her directly after the meeting if any of the complaints were written ones. Nope.
She put it on the agenda because she doesn't like strong opinions that differ from her own. She was the ONLY one who wanted to change papers, everyone else wasn't interested in doing it, and I loved what Bob Stricklin said, that if you're going to be changing papers every time you get a negative comment, you'll be bouncing back and forth (I paraphrase!)
Now, I'm biased. I am a big fan of community newspapers, I like reading what's going on, reading the ads and the classifieds, and seeing pictures of people in various events. I subscribe to the Glen Rose Reporter because I enjoy it and think it is a better newspaper than the low-circulation other paper.
As Ms Jones said after the meeting, the actions that Mayor Miller took were an abuse of power.
It's really too bad. There's enough pettiness in the world without seeing and hearing it from the person presiding over a council meeting.
Does Mayor Miller really think that we're so stupid as to buy her phoney reasons for wanting to 'dump' the Glen Rose Reporter? Her accusations are ridiculous and only serve to remind us that her performance as mayor is all about her ego and private agenda. Not only is she wasting the council's precious time and energy, she's making a fool out of herself.
Thanks to Salon and Kathryn Jones, citizens can keep informed about what's going on in local government. Fortunately, critical discussion and investigation by citizens in this county will continue, regardless of what Ms. Miller wants or which newspaper is currently the 'official' one.
Well, all I can say is "THE TRUTH HURTS!!" It's just like others have said, she does whatever she wants to and does not like it when someone calls her on it. The last council meeting I went to, she was late, jacking with her phone and the glass that she brought in. It's almost like she's a kid wanting to play king of the mountain. But does she not realize that what she does and says effcts everyone in city city and county and even her own family members. I wonder what they think about all of this. I honestly thought that she had been hitting the bottle when she was late to the last council meeting (the one were DW was almost fired) (AND THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION) Because from where I was sitting, she stumbled or walked into the door when she came in.
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