The Whirled and Great Plains Airlines


I spent part of today at the library, using the Whirled's online archives to see what the Whirled wrote about Great Plains Airlines from its first appearance on the scene as Sunwest (sometimes Sun West) Airlines in 1999. There is a lot of information to sift through.

The Whirled's parent company, World Publishing Co., paid $700,000 for 233,333 shares of preferred stock in the airline in November 2000. (The Whirled claims it paid $100,000 in cash -- the remainder was $600,000 in advertising space. The Whirled didn't bother to disclose its investment in Great Plains Airlines until February 16, 2003. By that time, the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma and the City of Tulsa had donated millions of dollars in subsidies to support this airline that never came close to delivering on its promises. Throughout this period, in which public officials were deciding whether to continue to pump more money into the venture, the Whirled ran positive stories promoting the airline and its potential. You will look in vain for even a hint of skepticism or concern.

A newspaper has the trust of many citizens and decision-makers in the community. It's assumed that the local daily is doing its best to inform us completely and accurately -- that they wouldn't have any reason to distort or conceal information.

The F&M Bank zoning controversy and the Great Plains Airlines scandal have exposed to the public the extent to which the business interests of World Publishing Co. and its owners skew the Whirled's coverage of local government.

If the Whirled wishes to regain the trust of its readers they should stop using their news pages to defend the company's actions and instead recuse themselves from coverage of the story. Let's have a newspaper from another part of the country with no Tulsa business ties come in and investigate the story.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 21, 2004 8:24 PM.

Our friends in Kyiv, the X-ATI guy, and spiritual abuse was the previous entry in this blog.

Great Plains: The beginning in Wichita as Sunwest is the next entry in this blog.

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