Small Town Beacon Gets Big Time Bullied
by Bret Roush
[Editor’s note: Updated Here 08/31/2016]
I don’t like Bullies. I have stood up for the underdog whenever I see an injustice being committed. That is why we expose government overreach and violations to the Constitution.
But they are not the only bullies in our wacked-out world. Today, I am going to tell you about a corporate bully attacking a small, hometown, local business.
Living in a small town in the American Redoubt is like taking a step back in time, to when life was a bit simpler, and less hectic. Many residents, when asked, will describe their small town as Mayberry-like. Slower, gentler, and peaceful. Residents know each other, look out for each other, and share life’s pleasures, and heartaches, with each other.
Priest River, Idaho is just such a place. At about 1700 residents, it is typical small-town living in Idaho, with a few shops, a few restaurants, and a single traffic light that, for weeks now, just flashes red. On any given day you might see kids holding a car wash, picnics in the park, or a gun show at the local Junior High School.
Another feature of living in a small town is the hometown newspaper. Highlighting local residents, local events, and the local schools is important to small town living. Run by a local editor, with resident reporters, everyone gets to know each other. They build a level of trust that is not found in larger venues.
For many years, Priest River had the Times. The Times recently closed down their office and moved the local news to Sandpoint, under the leadership of the Daily Bee.
Terry Ivie was the editor for the Priest River Times for 17 years. As the only female editor for the Hagadone Corporation, in the inland northwest, she was up against, what gave every appearance of being, an Old Boys Club. It would seem that the corporate good old boys did not like having a woman at the helm, even of a small local paper.
In January, Terri was released from her job in an unexpected move by the publishers of the paper. Taking it in stride, she was happy when the remaining employees were offered positions, albeit 35 miles away in Sandpoint.
However, the local paper no longer had the feel of hometown news. The residents were not warming up to the ‘New’ Times. They wanted their small town paper returned. It wasn’t long before her neighbors were asking Terri to bring it back.
Enter: The Beacon
The Beacon is the pride and joy of Terri and her son Nick, who is part owner and reporter. They highlight what is happening in their town, with the residents, the schools, and local organizations. They give you church happenings, charity events, and spotlights on the locals. The residents have overwhelmingly taken to the Beacon, and have made it successful from the beginning.
Maybe it became too successful too fast, because the publishers at Hagadone have apparently decided that the Beacon is becoming a threat to them.
In the July 26th issue of the Beacon, the Ivie’s published an article about a local, Jeff Connelly. They included a couple of courtesy photos in the article, not claiming credit for the photos.
The Times believes that photo was taken by Terri, while she was still under employment with Hagadone. It may very well be that she took the photo, as she took many photos of local people and events during her tenure as the Editor of the Priest River Times.
However, for this particular article, she took the photo off of Connolly’s web page, and it is still there today. Ivie labeled the photo as a “courtesy photo” which means that she does not claim copyright over the photo.
Through the advent of social media, it is accepted that photos are going to be shared, and it could be a lot. That is the basis for the term ‘going viral.’ The key is not to take credit for the photo. Do not claim that you took the photo, or that you own the photo, and give credit to the owner, if you can. It is the right thing to do, and the Fair Use Act allows for this.
The Times, under Hagadone, believes they own copyright to the photo and took exception to the Beacon using it in their little, weekly paper. They sent her a letter dated the end of July that threatened her with a lawsuit, and claiming possible damages in excess of $2 million.
Does the Sandpoint Daily Bee, and Hagadone, believe that this small hometown paper is that great a threat to them, that they feel it necessary to bully this woman and shut her down?
Terri Ivie has made her mark as the only woman in this region to make it as an editor for Hagadone. This is a male dominated business, and that is a feat she can be proud of. I have news for the guys at the Bee: Women are doing just fine here, and they will not go away quietly!
The David-like Beacon should not be a threat to the Goliath Daily Bee. Are their numbers dropping so fast they need to be the only one on the playing field? It is only going to hurt the local residents if they win in the battle to shut down the Beacon.
Ivie does not intend to shut down the Beacon, and she has the residents backing her in this fight. This is not going to be an easy battle for the Bee. They are almost certainly going to come out of this smelling more like fertilizer than roses.
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