The corporate pejorative
There’s a new daily starting on the other side of Vail Pass to compete with our sister paper the Summit Daily News. And making a run on both sides of the pass is the startup entertainment-alternative Mountain Weekly. We’ve also noted a couple of new magazines, but that’s an annual flower, blooming and disappearing in various guises each year, fertilized by high hopes if not quite the budgets to last long in this thin rural soil.
The newspaper entries are the ones we naturally take greater notice of. Competition? Of course they’d like to be. New papers are always cause for a bit of worry for the business side of our business. The more feckless journalists look forward to fresh contests for news. Also, there’s more job opportunity with more papers. This math isn’t so complicated.
Both the most recent newbies come out of the birth canal talking smack about taking on a dehumanized corporation – us – much like the fading original Vail paper whose offices, like its mission, have long left town.
It must feel satisfying somehow to pump themselves up with yammer about taking on the cold, sterile machine or however the stereotype they hope will catch on goes. Strictly speaking, though, it’s just not true.
We’re not publicly traded, slaving for Wall Street, asking our skyscraper-dwelling masters who also run trash companies for guidance. Our advertising rates are not particularly high for our industry; they are even lower than many smalltown papers out there in normal America.
Our owners are a family who started with a mountain town paper, then got another, then another. They didn’t start in this mountain town, but they managed their resources well, put out papers that succeeded, and gee whiz, they prospered. From this biased corner, how about we call it what it is: an American success story.
Maybe one of the startups will fulfill the dream of their visionaries, which ironically enough would lead to the same sort of sniping from the wannabes of the moment.
We’ve received a few long pieces of correspondence intended as letters to the editor, only the authors decline to make themselves known.
Letters need to be signed by the real author, with their phone number listed, to be considered for publication. Our policy is liberal. We run everything on public issues as long as they aren’t libelous or legally invade privacy rights. We most especially like letters that disagree with our positions. This is a forum, after all.
But with letters, you gotta have the guts to identify yourself.