The Salt Lake Tribune Gets It All Wrong

It's one thing to see an organization with an agenda produce a slanted and worthless article. It's an entirely different thing to see a major newspaper do the same thing. As trusted gatekeepers of information, we expect journalists to aspire to higher standards to report the whole story from an objective viewpoint. Sadly, it appears that the Tribune's Steven Oberbeck isn't into that kind of thing.

The holes in the story are numerous. There's no mention of the Qwest lawsuit or their illegal practices to block access to telephone poles. There's no mention of the delays with disbursing money from the RUS loan. There's no mention that Paul Morris left UTOPIA to go into semi-retirement and Roger Black probably has his hands full as the lawyer for the Utah League of Cities and Towns. Even more disturbing is the insinuation that UTOPIA has put tax dollars at risk when not one red cent of money has been taken from pledging cities to cover operations or the debt service. It's one of the sloppiest pieces of supposed journalism I've ever seen.

Thankfully, the Trib's readers are way too smart for it. Many of them have been filling in the gaps that Mr. Oberbeck left out, doing the job he should have done in the first place. Unfortunately, many have already fallen for the position piece disguised as news. Shame on the Tribune for running such a poorly researched article and shame on Steven Oberbeck for writing it.

UPDATE: The Trib now has something up on it in the Opinion section where, as one reader noted, it belonged from the get-go.

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3 Responses to The Salt Lake Tribune Gets It All Wrong

  1. rmwarnick says:

    I hope you have time to write a detailed rebuttal to the Trib’s very one-sided article, and that they will print it. The article didn’t quote UTOPIA backers except to accuse them of going back on previous promises.

  2. Paul C. says:

    I agree that that Mr. Oberbeck purposefully left out the facts and quotes that didn’t fit his story line. Hopefully UTOPIA can get the word out about the positive things happening on the network.

    By the way, small Clarification, Roger Black, (former UTOPIA CFO) went into semi-retirement (teaching at SUU in Cedar City), and Paul Morris (former Exec. Director) went back into private practice as an attorney.

  3. FGF says:

    I’m a fan of both this website and the UTOPIA project (though I don’t live in the area) and I too thought the SLT article was a shoddy piece of journalism but, in the interest of accuracy, the article did in fact mention the delay in RUS funding, information the article attributed to Mayor Snarr. As for the “insinuation that UTOPIA has put tax dollars at risk,” well, when the participating cities pledged to financially support UTOPIA that’s exactly what they did. That not one red cent of tax dollars has been spent on UTOPIA is a seperate matter, but the pledge is a risk. What degree of risk is the question.

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