Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

By Samuel Strait – July 3, 2019 –

It was almost inevitable once Western Communications installed Robin Fornoff as the Triplicate’s editor that changes were coming to the Triplicate and it seems all of the newspapers in the Western Communications stable Newspaper. I use that term loosely, as it has been some time since the Triplicate could have been considered an objective “newspaper”.   When I read Tony Reed’s editorial on Saturday in the paper’s last edition announcing the end, “Well, it happened, officially”, the terms fair, accurate, and accountable stood out as hardly an apt description of what passed for news in the Triplicate over the past ten years or so. While Editor Fornoff may not have been directly involved in the demise of Western Communications, his steadfast bias in reporting the news and creating narratives did nothing to bolster the bottom line of the over all operation.  If the Triplicate was representative of the entire Western line up, it can’t be very surprising that the leftward slant of the Triplicate would alienate a large share of potential readers.  Perhaps if the print media were to return to objective news, their collective futures may not be as bleak.  Propaganda has a way of catching up.

Now that Editor Fornoff, Jessica Cejnar and hopefully Tony Reed are off to new exciting career possibilities, perhaps  the new owners, Country Media, Inc., can inject a new sense of fair, accurate, accountable, and most importantly objective reporting into our local newspaper.  I don’t mean the kind that Mr. Reed was alluding to in his final editorial in the Triplicate.  If there is any sense of what that direction that will point, perhaps looking over the dozen or so newspaper that they already own will be indicative.  I have a sense of a much more even handed and objective kind of wind blowing into the local newspaper if the other newspapers in the group are in any way representative of Country Media.  

Hopefully the new staff of the Triplicate will report the news rather than construct it.  I am not sure how many readers viewed the Triplicate’s coverage of Del Norte County, but I am hoping that the
front page of the Triplicate will no longer be a dumping ground for B section style coverage and it will be supplanted with actual news stories.  Far too often real news never saw the light of day in the
Triplicate, thanks to the reporting staff and the former editor of the Triplicate.

At this point there does not seem to be any indication when Country Media will begin publishing in Del Norte and Curry Counties, but I say bring it on.  Local newspapers printing local stories have a place in small town life that cannot be under estimated.  While many in the industry bemoan the advent of social media and computer driven e-papers, there is space for both as long as the media remembers that it is not for them to be doing our thinking for us.  There are too many small town newspapers that are quite successful bringing the local world to its readers.  It looks like Country Media may have learned that lesson and will be a welcome presence in Del Norte and Curry Counties.

8 thoughts on “Farewell to the “old” Triplicate”
  1. While it does bring me personal joy to see the near death and new ownership Triplicate, I don’t see how the community will be able to shake the now long running distrust of the paper. That trust was broken and how they will be able to regain that trust is going to be interesting for me to study.

    It is impossible to clean house without actually cleaning house. Cleaning what appears on the surface is not good enough. Akin to sweeping dirt under a rug, this is not cleaning house. Any non-essential staff apart from billing/collections, sales, etc should be removed and more qualified people brought in. Remote work is definitely an option for some jobs. The paper should also allow more of the community to participate in writing columns from any side of the isle.

    Does the Junior and High Schools have any journalism classes? Perhaps the new Triplicate (and Current Co) papers can start working with students in journalism classes to promote better quality content filled with fact without bias or at least with transparent bias. Having a small group of students work with the local paper could boost student creativity, improve skills and also count towards curriculum while also increasing their chances of a long lasting job in the community or elsewhere. I see investing in students as an investment in community.

  2. Robin Fornoff is at the Pilot according to Wednesday newspaper.

    Hopefully this will be a new beginning.

    1. He was the editor of The Pilot BEFORE the sale, so maybe the new owners will have an editor for each newspaper rather than one that does both. Wonder about the status of Kim Fowler, the publisher before the sale.

    2. If in fact Robin Fornoff is working at the Pilot, it would be a huge mistake on the part of the new owners. Robin had ample opportunity to get his act together multiple times while working as the Triplicate’s editor and failed to do so. He always managed to let his personal political leanings over ride sound objective journalism. For some one with over fifty years of experience in journalism, he should have known better but clearly didn’t. He allowed his arrogance to perpetuate this flaw which carried over into the ability of the Triplicate to be news worthy for a local small town paper, something it was not during his tenure. I can only hope that the new owners recognize this early on and Robin is sent on his merry way.

    1. The Wednesday Triplicate and Pilot came out as scheduled under the new ownership. The new publisher has a front page column in both papers.

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