Leave It To Forum Communications To Report On The Bakken Oil Fields…From Grand Forks
Apparently the folks at Forum Communications, owners of most of North Dakota’s major media outlets, have decided that they’re going to launch a news bureau specifically aimed at covering the state’s western oil fields.
Who did they pick to head up this new news bureau? Mike Jacobs, publisher of the Grand Forks Herald (obviously a Forum Communications property). And where will Mr. Jacobs be headquartering this new news bureau?
Why, in Grand Forks of course. Hundreds of miles away from the oil fields.
This is a typically tone-deaf move by Forum Communications. Jacobs, who in the past was also the editor of the Herald, is a more temperate version of Fargo Forum editor Jack Zaleski. Both men seem to hold a grudge against the citizens they publish for, and spend a good deal of their time looking down their noses at we dumb North Dakotans. Jacobs, specifically, is originally from Stanley North Dakota but is years removed from his western North Dakota upbringing, something made clear in recent columns in which characterized North Daotans as uppity rubes who don’t know how to follow the rules.
In fact, it was Jacobs who not so long ago couldn’t even remember which Republican candidate was running for which federal seat this cycle. Admittedly, there are a lot of Republican candidates, but Jacobs has clearly been on cruise control. That the folks of the Forum are trotting out this dinosaur to head up what is billed as an innovative new endeavor to cover the oil stories in the state is a sign of some bottom-of-the-barrel scraping.
I suspect that this is more about going through the motions of producing energy-themed content to appeal to energy-related advertisers than anything else. Not that there’s anything wrong with making money – I love capitalism – but Jacobs is a joke, and the idea of a Grand Forks-based Bakken news bureau is the punch line.
There is a big-and-growing political and social divide in North Dakota with an east-west fault line, and perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the oblivious and Fargo-centric Forum folks see nothing wrong with reporting on one of the nation’s biggest energy stories through the lens of the Red River Valley. But I can speak for a lot of my fellow western North Dakotans in saying that self-centered nature of Red River Valley-based media is more than a little tiresome.
It wasn’t so long ago that Forum Communications didn’t even have a reporter covering the capitol beat in Bismarck. Now they seek to position themselves as the leaders in reporting on western ND stories.
Color me skeptical.Tags: bakken, forum communications, mike jacobs, North Dakota News, oil