Gualtieri expresses frustration with reporting

By: 
Alexis Barker

Gualtieri expresses frustration with reporting

During the dispatch discussion on Jan. 18, Newcastle Mayor Pam Gualtieri expressed frustration with reporting featured in the Weston County Gazette on the dispatch discussions at county meetings. 

“I read in the newspaper, in Upton, that we were dropping Upton. I am not sure why those thoughts are there. Dispatch is invested in the entire county,” Gualtieri said, noting that dispatch employees are residents of Upton. 

“To say we could drop Upton at any time is very false. Speaking with Melissa (Stubbs, dispatch supervisor) after reading the article, she was very upset that that was even thought about. Even if we wanted to drop anyone, by law we can’t. Due diligence needs to be done before it is reported in the paper.” 

Nicholas Trandahl, the Gazette’s publisher and editor, who also serves on the Upton Town Council, responded to the claim during the public comment portion of the meeting. He then summarized his thoughts for the News Letter Journal when asked about the interaction. 

“In short, they were: I’m a county reporter reporting on dispatch discussions had by county officials. The city of Newcastle has a more than adequate newspaper to report on their meetings and perspectives,” Trandahl said. “Every one of my dispatch articles has been about dispatch discussions at county meetings. I do, however, report any city official’s perspective if they attend and make statements during a county meeting, but I don’t seek out the city’s perspective on this issue because that is not our turf at the Gazette.” 

He noted that he was reporting statements made during the Jan. 4 meeting so for Gualtieri to insinuate that he was exaggerating or incorrect in the reporting is false. 

“My article simply had direct quotes from four elected county officials made during that meeting, all of which expressed worry about Upton being dropped. I did not make that up, and I would consider it a disservice to our readers to not include those quotes concerning Upton,” Trandahl said. “I encourage the mayor to stay in her lane and allow me to stay in mine as a county government reporter, not as a city of Newcastle reporter.” 

In response to Trandahl’s statement, Gualtieri made it clear that Newcastle is very much part of Weston County and as a county reporter, Trandahl should want the entire story. 

“Newcastle is in the same county and the commissioners were reporting on an issue about the city. Any good journalist would have done what the News Letter Journal does and contact the other party to see if a comment is needed,” she said. 

“It is a disservice to print only one side of the story, stirring the pot. But, if that is the way he wants to be a journalist to sell papers …,” Gualtieri concluded.

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