Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

The Owner of Four Town Papers In Ohio Refuses to Publish News About LGBT Students, Castigates High School Student on Facebook

6 comments
[UPDATED: 14 April @ 1614 - I've included what response Dale Grimm had, as well as responses to some comments and more information in the post at http://ideatrash.net/2016/04/update-dale-grimm-ohio-newspaper-owner.html]

[update to the update: I got one more e-mail from Dale, and responded to it both privately and in a public letter here: http://ideatrash.net/2016/04/why-do-i-care-if-local-newspaper-chain.html

It was really good to write about how the Kickstarter for No Sh!t, There I Was is over 45% funded after 48 hours. It was also kind of funny to write a backer update about how I've managed to get something unique: A rejection letter for a press release.

But, sadly, there's a darker side to the story.

See, I can understand why a newspaper wouldn't want to print "shit" or "sh!t" or "sh*t". I fully expected most of the press releases to be quickly discarded. I was a little surprised that someone would take the time to write about how they were offended by it, but hey.

And like publishing or agenting, there isn't any real criteria for being a journalist or a newspaper... except doing it.

But y'all know me. You know that I hold publishers to a high standard - myself included. And what you might not know is that I came within a hair's breadth of teaching journalism. So I kind of think that newspapers have a responsibility to present the news.

I wondered when I saw a Facebook post saying that a local-ish paper had rejected high school student's stories about a transgender student and about the formation of the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club at their school. 1


"I take a writing for publication class at my high school and today my teacher informed us that the person who is in charge of the newspaper we write for, the Enon Eagle, refused to publish two of our articles. A few weeks ago an article was written about a trans student at my school and it was not published. This week an article about GSA, (Gay straight alliance) a club at Greenon, was also not published.
"I take a writing for publication class at my high school and today my teacher informed us that the person who is in charge of the newspaper we write for, the Enon Eagle, refused to publish two of our articles. A few weeks ago an article was written about a trans student at my school and it was not published. This week an article about GSA, (Gay straight alliance) a club at Greenon, was also not published.

Lo and behold, it was our buddy, Dale Grimm, Publisher of the New Carlisle News, the Enon Eagle, the Tippecanoe Gazette, and the Troy Tribune. The same guy who rejected my press release.

I got a little chuckle out of that. I mean, life's not fair, I understand the first amendment, and so on.

And then I saw that the offical Facebook account for the Enon Eagle - presumably controlled by Dale2 himself - had replied to this high school student's post.


     "We do not print articles of that nature."
"We do not print articles of that nature."

Now, remember, this is the same company that publishes stories about Little League, "Things I've Found In The River", middle schoolers, and high schoolers.

So it's pretty damn obvious what "articles of that nature" means, isn't it?2

Apparently the guy who owns four city papers in Ohio won't publish stories about LGBT people.

Yes, I do know what the first amendment really says.

But at the same time, I also understand that there's a responsibility and an obligation in setting yourself up as a news outlet.

I find it disturbing that in these small towns, one of the newspaper publishers (and in some cases, the only local newspaper publisher) refuses to print articles about LGBT people at all. And then is small and petty enough to get on Facebook to rub a sixteen year old high school student's nose in it.

I don't know what, exactly, to do.

The normal tools seem...inadequate. There's no obvious advertisers. One could post on the Enon Eagle Page on like these folks, or call Dale Grimm at (937) 845-1709. Maybe you could send him (or the editors of his papers) an e-mail for the The Enon Eagle, New Carlisle News, Tipp City Gazette, and the Troy Tribune.

When you do, perhaps you should ask why, exactly, Mr. Grimm has decided that LGBT folks are excluded from being reported on, and if they'd care to disclose any other groups of people that Mr. Grimm has unilaterally decided to not report on.

Also, I should note that Mr. Grimm "does not appreciate receiving vulgar e-mails".

Take that as you may.

[UPDATED: 14 April @ 1614 - I've included what response Dale Grimm had, as well as responses to some comments and more information in the post at http://ideatrash.net/2016/04/update-dale-grimm-ohio-newspaper-owner.html]

[update to the update: I got one more e-mail from Dale, and responded to it both privately and in a public letter here: http://ideatrash.net/2016/04/why-do-i-care-if-local-newspaper-chain.html]  


1 I asked for and gained permission to write about this minor's issue with the paper. That said, she's a minor and so I'm refraining from posting her image or name here. A screenshot of both the post and the response together is at http://imgur.com/DP2Vfb8
2 I attempted to contact Dale several times today by phone and e-mail. At this time, I have gotten no response.

6 comments :

Nathaniel Hoffelder said...

The word castigate means "to criticize severely, or to inflict severe punishment on".

I do not see how that one sentence meets either definition.

Does your "responsibility and an obligation in setting yourself up as a news outlet" not include accurate reporting? I ask because your hyperbole would suggest that it does not.

transmothra said...

Some context:
https://mattalgren.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/in-2009-editor-censors-gay-mans-obituary/

Stewart said...

Disgusting but not--sadly--surprising.

Grant said...

Hi! I work at a joint called Equality Ohio, and we work for LGBTQ equality here in Ohio. Someone on Twitter sent this post to me. Thanks for writing this up, and I'm definitely interested in any follow-up or new developments.

Grant said...

I did a few Google searches on their domain – LGBT, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- all zero results. Did searches for sex, drugs, rock and roll, and church, and got plenty.

http://imgur.com/a/IUaiU

Steven Saus said...

I've responded to these comments in a follow-up post at http://ideatrash.net/2016/04/update-dale-grimm-ohio-newspaper-owner.html