Joe Cashen: Paper's poor impression

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I am writing to publicly air my disappointment in the Steamboat Today’s decision to print the Rob Douglas column about marijuana as a front-page article in Friday’s newspaper, since Friday happened to be one of our community’s busiest days for tourism.

Nothing at all against Rob. I generally like his articles, including this one. My complaint is with the front page placement and the potentially negative impact it could have on Steamboat’s tourism industry — an industry that feeds a lot of hard-working families throughout the Yampa Valley and an industry that spends a substantial amount of money advertising with the Steamboat Today.

This letter is not about the many varying opinions for and against Amendment 64 and recreational marijuana use. This letter is asking the Steamboat Today to explain why it would choose to “front page” an editorial, with no newsworthy purpose whatsoever, in order to blatantly highlight an issue that divides us as humans during such a pivotal time in our local tourism economy.

As our hospitality industry welcomes thousands of families and friends from all across the country and world to enjoy our town, I see no good (and plenty of bad) reasons to call unnecessary attention to this issue Friday, of all days.

Too many local people have worked too hard and spent too much money to attract these visitors and prepare for their arrival. It is unfortunate that our local media outlet, our public voice to the outside world, would undermine all of our collective efforts and resources for a little flash-in-the-pan sensationalism. It reminded me of when the Pilot & Today printed its award-winning “House of Cards” series (the one about the demise of our local real estate market) right at the start of a big Wine Festival/Triple Crown weekend a few years back. Make no mistake, their advertising customers from the real estate industry didn’t appreciate it one bit.

Let’s celebrate our incredible snow (best in the state), let’s highlight something positive like the recent Nordic combined success of the Fletcher boys. Let’s talk about the meteor in Russia or a few of the philanthropic efforts hard-working locals have put in motion lately.

Ultimately, let’s make a better first impression.

Joe Cashen

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

Yeah, tourism is too important to allow exposing them to anything that any of them may not like.

We must remember that tourists want to visit sanitized places devoid of local politics, or critical reporting.

It is fortunate that we have people like Mr Cashen to remind us that the lives of locals are irrelevant and should always be subject to the more important goal of being pleasant props for tourists.

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bill schurman 1 year, 10 months ago

Yo, Joe, "lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, take it easy..." There's a real world out there.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

Joe should contact the producers of "The Boy In The Bubble", and see if they'll give him the prop Travolta used in the film. That way, Joe may be able to insulate himself from the real world and the people who live there. Ye gods.

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Melanie Turek 1 year, 10 months ago

Of course the paper should not choose what to put on the front page, or inside, based on what will make the town look good to tourists. But I have yet to get a good reason for why it prints Rob Douglas' op-ed on the front page, which goes against a very clear and long-standing journalistic rule of putting editorials and op-eds in a clearly-marked section inside the paper.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

Right, Melanie. Because the great unwashed just aren't smart enough to distinguish editorials from articles. Why, I'm sure I'd chug a can of motor oil if it wasn't properly labeled.

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Ulrich Salzgeber 1 year, 10 months ago

I think some of you might be missing Joe's point of not being objectionable to the article but having it on the front page. I just returned from a Real Estate conference in Savannah and one of the speakers on marketing again said that newspapers are a dying breed and not to advertise in them. She sited the number of newspapers that have gone out of business in the United States just in the past two years and the number was staggering. We are fortunate to have a vibrant newspaper that can put out six daily free editions funded by advertisers. Yes the Pilot and Today have to be sensitive to their paying clientele but at the same time have a responsibility to report the news in a fair and balanced procedure. I agree with Melanie's pondering of the positioning of Mr. Douglas's articles but disagree with Joe Cashen that Colorado's voter decision to allow personal marijuana usage will deter tourist and skiers from coming to Steamboat and enjoying everything we have to offer. Everyone in the United States and other parts of the world know about Colorado and Washington States voter decision. .

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