The ULís bully tactics
by Jeff Rapsis
This weekís topic is
not one we take a lot of pleasure bringing to your attention. But it
really needs to be brought to light.
For the past few years,
our colleagues at the New Hampshire Union Leader have been playing a
little game. Itís not a very nice game, and hereís how it goes.
Say youíre organizing a
big event, such as the cityís annual Jazz & Blues Festival or the
upcoming Mill City Festival. Naturally, youíre hoping for media coverage
to get the word out.
So you go to the Hippo.
Weíre glad to do whatever we can to promote things that are good for
Manchester or the area, and weíll often partner with organizers to help
get the word out.
Now you go to the Union
Leader and that paperís management tells you that if you or your event
have anything to do with the Hippo, you wonít get any support or
promotion from the Union Leader, the Manchester Mirror or any other of
the ULís other papers.
right? But the fact is, the ULís management has repeatedly tried to pull
Several years ago, for
example, the Union Leader told organizers of the Jazz & Blues Festival
that the paper would neither support nor cover the event if the Hippo
organizers told UL to take a hike and to take its schoolyard-bully
tactics with it. The UL backed down and weíve both been sponsors of the
festival for the past three years.
More recently, planners
of the upcoming Mill City Festival were told by the Union Leader that
the paper would not support or promote the event if the Hippo was
The Mill City Fest is
an event thatís good for Manchester, so youíd think the UL would eagerly
support it just because of that. Instead, the paperís management is
using the group as a pawn in some imaginary zero-sum media war game.
What is the Union
Leader afraid of? Itís true that we compete for business, but weíre
happy to have the UL join us in promoting events that are good for
Manchester or the region.
Instead, itís too bad
for Manchester, the paperís home city, that the folks who run the Union
Leader apparently never learned a lesson that most of us picked up years
ago on the school playground ó that nobody likes a bully.
Letís hope this
childish behavior stops. And to any groups faced with the ULís tactics,
hereís an interesting fact: Hippo now reaches more readers in Manchester
than the Union Leader does.
Yes, thatís a fact. So,
if you really want to know the truth, thatís what the Union Leader is