by William Skink
The corporate media landscape is continuing to blob together, inching toward some dystopian borg-like hive mind of information dissemination.
You may have heard it reported from the Lee Enterprises owned rag, the Missoulian, that Lee Enterprises is buying up Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Media Group for a cool 140 million bucks.
Here is what Lee Enterprises gets for its big buy:
The deal includes Berkshire Hathaway Media Group, including Buffett’s hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald. It also includes The Buffalo News, which is separately owned. All told, it will add 31 dailies to Lee’s existing 50 and will nearly double its audience size.
Well, isn’t this just fantastic for us local consumers of Lee Enterprises “news”.
For a good laugh (meaning cynical cackle to keep from weeping) here’s more from the link:
Bloomberg reported that Berkshire CEO Buffett got a job delivering newspapers as a teenager and invested in them to target local advertising, but lamented in 2019 that papers are “toast.”
“We had zero interest in selling the group to anyone else for one simple reason: We believe that Lee is best positioned to manage through the industry’s challenges,” Buffett said in the statement.
The investing legend added: “No organization is more committed to serving the vital role of high-quality local news, however delivered, as Lee.”
With this quote in mind, every time I see a physical location where the Missoula Independent used to be available, I plan on spitting on the ground and cursing Lee Enterprises and Matt Gibson for what they have actually done for “high-quality local news” in Missoula.
For those readers new to this blog from my recent coverage of the murder of Sean Stevenson, the Missoula Independent was an alt-weekly publication in Missoula that Matt Gibson sold-out to Lee Enterprises. Then, when the few lingering staff tried to unionize, Lee shut the whole thing down.
No Missoula Independent means no non-corporate journalist is looking into the death of Sean Stevenson and the strange circumstances that have kept his alleged killer free to walk the streets without any formal charges being filed by the County Attorney’s office.
What other stories aren’t being told in this community? What other dots aren’t being connected?
Yesterday KECI is reported that a body was discovered behind the sewage treatment plant. The body has been there long enough that its gender is not apparently discernible:
Missoula Police Department is investigating after a body was found behind a sewage plant on Saturday morning.
According to a representative from the department the body was reported at 10:40 a.m. Saturday.
Authorities say the deceased is believed to have been there for some time.
Investigators were unsuccessful in identifying the deceased, or if the deceased was a man or woman.
The sewage treatment plant is right across the river from the homeless encampments scattered around the Reserve Street bridge. Is that relevant? Could there be a connection?
I wonder how much effort local authorities will put into investigating what happened, especially if the body turns out to be that of a homeless person.
I had little confidence in our local media’s reporting abilities before this recent merger of Lee Enterprises and Buffet’s papers. Now, with the reporting sure to continue skewing toward business boosterism while marginalized populations get disappeared from screens and pages, it’s up to non-traditional media creators like myself to fill in the blank spaces left by corporate media.