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View Diary: Who's Istook and why does he want your tax forms? (115 comments)

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  •  wrong....sigh..... (none)
    Ed Gaylord has been dead for almost two years.  The Gaylords do not own any television station in Oklahoma City.

    The editorial page of the paper is still conservative, which unfortunately, reflects the city and the state, but for the first time in the paper's history, The Oklahoman has a separate editor and publisher, and neither is a member of the Gaylord family.  

    The editorial page no longer influences news coverage, and the editorial page is running letters to the editor reflecting liberal viewpoints.

    The Oklahoman does have a business relationship with the local CBS affiliate KWTV, by which they share a webpage(newok.com) and news gathering resources, but the Oklahoman, in no way, influences the opinion of KWTV, which is owned by the Griffin family, who also owns the Tulsa CBS affiliate KOTV.

    It certainly would not hurt to write LTE's to the Oklahoman, chances are that some will be printed, especially if they receive several. It would be important to observe their guidelines for LTE's regarding length, etc., to increase the chance that your letter would be published.

    Oh, and I should add that that while the CJR article was mostly accurate when it was published, it no longer applies to the paper as there have been numerous changes made since then.

    •  Sigh all you want... (none)
      Ed Gaylord is dead, but his daughter Christy Everest isn't. And I'm sure you're right that she has NO say over the content of the paper... Owners never influence the editorial or news content of their publications. Sheesh.

      And by the way, Ed Kelley, the editor, isn't exactly Ben Bradlee.  I know reporters at The Oklahoman who have had stories spiked recently because they offended the Gaylord family. Anything controversial (not iseologically in line with the Gaylord legacy) gets sent upstairs for review never to be seen again. Staffers, at least those who care about good journalism, remain demoralized and cowed by the paper's right wing editorial slant. Most of the reporters serve as stenographers with amnesia. Printing a couple of letters from "liberals" doesn't change that. And pretending to separate the paper from the Gaylord family doesn't change that, either. Can you say PR gimmick? The Manchester Union has nothing on The Oklahoman.

      So go ahead and kid yourself into thinking The Oklahoman is transformed. Anyone who knows anything about the newspaper business knows that E.L. Gaylord's death didn't change much.

      The real point is that they're unlikely to cover Istook's political assault on personal privacy.

      •  Ummm... (none)

        I'm most likely better informed than you are, like on a daily basis.  I'm also aware of the fellow liberals in my state that are so accustomed to hating the Oklahoman, that they're reluctant to acknowledge the improvements.  I also know that many critics of the Oklahoman don't even see it on a regular basis

        I know of reporters that left under ELG, that came back after his death.  I also can't think of any stories that would be "out there" that would reflect negatively on the Gaylord family.
        Not anything that they would be obligated to report, anyway.

        There is no reason any reporter should should feel "cowed" by the editorial page's conservative slant, since the editorial page and the news side are not connected.  
        They have run articles and editorials critical of republicans, most notably, criticism of Tom Coburn and his bizarre, extreme statements.  Unfortunately, they ultimately endorsed him, but they did do their job, informing the public.

        I also know that they refused to endorse Istook during his 2002 election, when he had a very credible democratic candidate, and as far as I know, they didn't endorse him this time.

        They have written editorials criticizing attacks on privacy, so it certainly would not hurt for people to write letters.

        I know they post progressive letters on a regular basis.

        No, they are no perfect, they are still a conservative paper, but I do know that MUCH HAS CHANGED and that the CJR article no longer applies.

        The sad fact is that we live in the reddest of the red states, and as much as I would like it,
        it wouldn't exactly be prudent for them to switch to a liberal slant.

        •  Better informed? (none)
          Perhaps, if you work at The Oklahoman. But then again if you work there you'd have a vested interest in assuring people (as you have on many left-leaning bulletin boards and blogs) that the paper has somehow changed dramatically.

          As a longtime reporter and editor, I find your assertion that the editorial and news side "are not connected" amusing. Journalists like to think that, but who signs their checks? Who approves their assignments? Who edits their work?

          I worked for Gannett papers, and you had better believe that the editorial positions of the paper(s) and the coverage done by the news side were very much connected. There are people in the newsroom who enforce those connections. They are called executive editors and their allegiance in the modern, corporate newsroom tends to be to their corporate masters and not to any enlightened idea of what journalism should be. Maybe they are conflicted about it, but job security and often bonuses win out in those internal arguments. From what I am told, the editors at The Oklahoman are very much interested in what the Gaylord family would and would not like to see in the news columns of their family paper.

          If you can't think of any stories that were spiked by the Gaylord family, then maybe you're not more informed than I am. I know of several recently. I'll just say that I have a pretty close connection to the Gaylords and have many acquaintances in that newsroom. Maybe we're talking to different people from the newsroom. I'm sure the old guard and the editors have convinced themselves that with E.L. Gaylord gone, things are very different. I can tell you that younger staffers who I talk to beg to differ.

          •  yeah right.... (none)
            You're closely affiliated with the Gaylords and the paper and you thought they owned an OKC television station?  Thats interesting.

            I've been in a position to observe the ups and downs at this paper for over 15 years.  If you want to continue to argue that the grass is red, go ahead, but you're wrong.  There have been major changes and there is a difference in attitude between the younger Gaylords and their
            late father, which is not uncommon in family businesses, something else I have experience with.  The changes started when EK II took a more active role with the paper and appointed Ed Tiner as editor.  The elder Gaylord later fired Tiner, but improvements continued under EK II and then under Christy.

            I never said they were becoming the NY Times, but if you look at improvement as a matter of degrees, they have improved significantly.

            Name some "spiked" stories.  Has anyone else covered them?

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