Council To Vote On Subsidizing Reporter-Herald Newspaper Archive

This Wednesday, July 5, Loveland’s City Council is set to vote on a onetime $59,000 expenditure to move the RH’s archives to the city’s Cultural Services Department along with another $60,000 annual increase in the departments budget to better organize, preserve and maintain the thousands of newspaper articles and photographs for the newspaper’s current owners.  The Reporter-Herald reportedly doesn’t have the resources to move the archives to their new small office in Berthoud.

See our story along with links to older stories about how the newspaper was sold previously etc….

When this idea was first presented to Loveland’s City Council, museum staff claimed they signed the agreement back in May with the newspaper because the Reporter-Herald was planning to dispose of the archive upon selling their building in downtown.  Incredibly, the staff negotiated an agreement where the party supposedly ready to dispose of their archives will continue to receive revenue and maintain rights to the copyright of the archive after it is acquired by the city and maintained at taxpayer expense.

Staff must know how incredibly incompetent their negotiation skills are because during a presentation to Loveland’s City Council in early June, they repeatedly claimed the archive will now be available for Loveland residents for free with the exception of “commercial” uses.  Unfortunately, our elected representatives failed to read the actual agreement and voted 9-0 on first reading to became the custodian of the newspaper’s  archives without obtaining any rights for the citizens to use that archive.  

Essentially, city taxpayers are being asked to organize, preserve, and distribute the newspaper’s archive to the financial benefit of its owners who not only maintain control of their archives but also, according to the agreement, may take them back at anytime from the city.

We strongly support the city acquiring the “going to be trashed” archive from our city’s failing daily newspaper for the use of its citizens and the museum for historical purposes in perpetuity.  Unfortunately, this agreement they are scheduled to approve Wednesday doesn’t come close to accomplishing the objective the staff claims it does.

Councilors – please read the agreement before voting for final approval.

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8 Responses to Council To Vote On Subsidizing Reporter-Herald Newspaper Archive

  1. Jeff Stahla says:

    Thanks for your comments on our archive agreement. I don’t see it the same way you do, so those with questions or concerns can certainly contact me (at the same number I’ve had since 1999) at 635-3691, or via email (at the same address I’ve had since 1999) at jstahla (at) reporter-herald.com.

    • Admin says:

      In a digital world the physical location is not terribly important especially since the public will not be given direct access to documents and only provided images which could be sent from anywhere.

      The part I find troubling is trying to restrict ANY distribution of the archive even if not for commercial purposes by individuals.

      If the public is being asked to safeguard, organize and preserve the archive than shouldn’t the public be given unfettered access?

      Our blog post is opinion but the story simply explains the agreement and provides the language and associated documents. It is not ambiguous and hardly reflects the misleading talking points being provided to the public.

  2. A proud Lovelander says:

    Given the disgrace the newspaper has become under the direction of Jeff Stahla, the archive should be limited to ending when he took it over.

  3. Greg Snyder says:

    Jeff: Do you have any idea why you do not have the financial resources to remain a thriving local newspaper? Instead of chastising Liam and this site perhaps you should spend some time in contemplation of the corruption in the city government and school district that you have turned a blind eye towards. You may also wish to contemplate the decline of CNN since they decided to become the Clinton News Network in the 1990’s and the decline of Fox New’s ratings since they bowed to the God of political correctness.
    Since before you took over the Reporter Herald has been muting and then completely eliminating the voices of those of us who believe in limited government and individual liberty by limiting comments on your website, editing or refusing to publish letters to the editor, and by only presenting the Progressive side of every issue. The “leadership” of this city has once again proven that they are spineless creatures who will never meet the standard set by our Founders. If you don’t think I am correct in my assessment, please call me. I am in the book….

  4. Tony Benjamin says:

    There’s a better way to go about this, and hope all avenues are explored. Newspaper archives are treasures of historical information, and ought to be preserved. If the city is involved and taxpayers are picking up the freight, access should be free to the public. The Reporter-Herald could have controlled its own history by protecting it, but opted out. For whatever reason. How the R-H archives are preserved is key. Instead of just storing the material in bound volumes and musty notes, it should be (in my opinion) digitized, with a searchable date base. There are many examples of how that works. That cost v what is planned should be explored. There may be grants (state, federal and private) available to help pay for it. City Council has taken a step to ensure the newspaper archives aren’t trashed. I find it reprehensible that that threat was even raised. Why would any newspaper want its work of 100 years or more erased? It is the history of our community. Put the taxpayer money allocated to the best and highest use. tb

    • Admin says:

      Tony, in the written staff report they told council the archive would be thrown away if not taken over by the city. However, the night of the meeting the council was told the RH archive would be placed in a storage unit.

      We agree with your comments. Unfortunately, the council voted 8-0 to accept the RH contract as written without amending anything.

  5. LindaRosa says:

    If the Loveland Public Library and the museum have not been maintaining their own duplicate archives of the R-H over the years, I would like to know why. This is something city libraries and museums do routinely.

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