The Globe Gazette got on Tuesday’s City Council agenda and asked to be the “official publication of record.” The Globe got that, and more, once Council began discussing the issue.
The two at-large City Council members took the lead in the discussion, with Max Weaver addressing “incredibly bad mistakes” and Scott Tornquist noting “personal biases” in reporting by the Globe.
Weaver was referring to recent mistakes by the Globe in reporting Weaver’s vote on controversial issues. For example, at a December 7, 2010 Council meeting, a vote was taken by the Council on where adult businesses would be allowed in Mason City. The Council voted 5-0 in favor of the new zoning ordinance. However, the Globe reported that “The vote on that was 4-1 with Councilman Max Weaver voting against it.”
Weaver showed his frustration with the Globe Gazette when he said “What is the official way of getting our information out, now? Things are going to the internet now, paperless. For an official newspaper, they have made some incredibly bad mistakes. I don’t have any respect for that. They charge for their print. I’m gonna vote no tonight as the Globe Gazette as my official newspaper.”
Scott Tornquist took issue with the Globe taking sides on issues in their “op-ed” articles when he told the Council and the public “Just because the local paper has four people that work there that happen to have an opinion, that doesn’t mean it’s gospel and it doesn’t mean it’s accurate and it doesn’t mean it has any basis in fact. How do you collect information to write your op-ed pieces? It’s a filter, it’s a filter. They bring their own personal biases in… that’s just insane. Once or twice a week I ask my wife ‘can we cancel our subscription?’ I don’t like a lot of what I read.”
Councilman Jeff Marsters said he wanted clarification on a state law that requires some City business go to print, and asked City Administrator Brent Trout if that was true. Trout said “That’s true at this time. It has been debated at the State House as to making some changes to allow people to be able to do online, but it has not been approved at this time.” Marsters said “I didn’t know this was bash the Globe. I’m not always happy with everything I read in the Globe Gazette, or any newspaper. We have no real choice. It has to be in print. We have no alternative.”
According to Iowa state law, some City business must be printed in a publication of record. NorthIowaToday.com will have more on this law and how much this costs the taxpayers of Mason City.
Watch video of City Council take issue with the Globe Gazette’s reporting: