Electeds on a power trip | AspenTimes.com

Electeds on a power trip

I too, as one who has submitted material to The Aspen Times for publication, including about the Doronin purchase of the Lift 1A parcel, am dismayed  by the turmoil at the paper. Its potential degradation as a source of trusted community journalism does not bode well. But The Aspen Times is not a public bulletin board. Its publisher, like the polarized cable news channels, is free to print any story, withhold or spin it as it chooses. It is privately owned and if the content is not to one’s liking, the choice is to stop reading or supporting the paper by advertising. Aspen is lucky to have two local papers.

It is a foundational axiom that the government cannot impose its criteria on the press. At one end of the spectrum such would be censorship and at the other end it constitutes propaganda. That 18 past or present local elected officials, either by perceived collective power or by privilege of title would have the audacity to divine requirements for content in The Aspen Times is both odious and repugnant. ( “Aspen Times publisher responds to politicians’ criticisms and demands,” June 25, 2022). What gives them individually or collectively the right to dictate journalistic standards to a newspaper? What right do they have to demand the disclosure of terms of a lawsuit settlement when such are customarily confidential as a provision of the settlement itself? The answer to both questions is: none.

As important as the future of The Aspen Times is to all of us, the real emerging story is the overt corruption of power by those we have elected  who are themselves the subject of the news.  

Neil Siegel


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