Vail Daily can do better
Vail, CO, Colorado
Recently I read in the Vail Daily that the legendary underground hip-hop artist Aceyalone is doing a free show in Vail for the Teva Mountain Games. The date that the article listed was June 5. Myself, along with around 10 other friends who have been fans of his for well over a decade, all asked our respective jobs for the day off. This was several weeks ago.
One of those people happened to check the Teva Games Web site just two days ago only to find out that Aceyalone is performing on the 6th instead of the 5th.
This was the third time this has happened to me with the Vail Daily in about four years. Guru of Gang Starr comes to mind as one that also was advertised improperly.
Anyway, I was angry and fired off a scathing letter to the editor because I, along with all of my friends who are fans, had to work on the night of the show.
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In the e-mail, I brought up the fact that I consider the Vail Daily’s journalistic integrity to be questionable at best. (I still believe that, for the record.) I referenced the recent scandal involving free advertising to Starbucks in exchange for not carrying Vail Mountaineers in their stores. I also mentioned the time about two years ago when they ran a front-page photo of a dead local rafter’s body. I’m pretty sure I also said that I wished the family of the poor rafter would have sued the Vail Daily and put them out of business.
Obviously I was upset. I told Don Rogers by name to get his act together.
I would say it was a couple of hours later that Don himself called me like a gentleman to address my concerns. He explained that the date of the concert was changed by the Vail Valley Foundation after they had published it. OK, so I will give him that one. Not his fault.
He then tried to tell me that the deal with Starbucks was in the works before the Vail Mountaineer was even around. I believe the words “bless their hearts” was involved. Whether this is true is not for me to decide, but I have my doubts.
He then addressed the issue of the offensive dead body on the front page. He assured me that the Vail Daily does not show pictures of dead bodies. We talked about how he could understand my point of view on that, and he was very professional.
I forgot to even mention how annoying Matt Zalaznick is or to go off about Richard Carnes’ mind-numbing ramblings. So I changed my wording a bit and appreciated Don letting me vent. But I still stand by most of what I said and think a lot of others might as well. This is just a reminder that the Vail Daily can do better and should. Show us you care.
Editor’s note: We appreciate Dan Purtell’s point of view and indeed will strive to be better about communicating scheduling changes of public events, as well as double-checking dates. The paper reported the old and later the new date of the concert but
did not note that the organizers had changed the schedule.
His understanding of Starbucks, a private entity, limiting distribution is inaccurate. Just as grocery and some other outlets regulate newspaper and magazine distribution on their property, Starbucks limits newspaper distribution inside to three. The Daily was left outside for eight or nine years until USA Today recently gave up its slot. We replaced them in Eagle County and in Summit County, where there is no local newspaper competitor. There is no “free” arrangement, and there is nothing remotely unethical about it; indeed, distribution agreements are common.
Death is a particularly difficult and sensitive issue. We do not publish local pictures of dead bodies, but we have published a couple of images over the past decade that showed a white sheet over a deceased person, and understand this can be upsetting as well.
And finally, yes, we can and should do better all around. That is our aim each day.
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