Saturday, April 05, 2008

"Articles and editorials relating to the Waxahachie Daily Light's anti-TTC coverage were taken off."

King of Spain 'owns' Waxahachie Daily Light

Demotion, removal of anti-TTC articles cause stir

April 4th, 2008

Ellis County Press
Copyright 2008

WAXAHACHIE – Residents researching the Waxahachie Daily Light website in hopes of finding articles on the Trans-Texas Corridor were recently surprised to find they had been removed.

Would this be because Macquarie Media Group, ( based out of Australia) the WDL’s new corporate owners, have strong ties with the TTC?

Some political observers and journalists believe Macquarie – whose principal partner is Spanish King Juan Carlos – is a key player in the consortium to build the North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, starting first with Gov. Rick Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor, a network of private toll roads and high-speed highway lanes that will parallel the state’s current interstate highway system.

The same observers who reported on the media buyout of the WDL and 39 other papers – including the Ennis Journal, Italy News-Herald, Midlothian Mirror and Ellis County Chronicle – believe Macquarie is silencing opposition to the TTC. Macquarie and King Carlos are investors in the TTC.

Neal White, who was demoted to editor after the buyout, told The Ellis County Press “We've been leading the state in coverage and will continue to do so.”

Jeremy Halbreich, the president of American Consolidated Media, the Dallas-based media firm Macquarie bought, said the media firm would not have a direct influence over what its member papers cover.

“No in any way, shape or form,” he said.

Having managed The Dallas Morning News for 10 years, Halbreich said he strongly respects reporters and what they do.

“ There is no interlocking directors or connections at all,” said Halbreich. “The firm is two separate companies.”

Allegations that ACM was siding with one side over the other was characterized by Halbreich “absolutely ridiculous if not insulting.”

Halbreich said his papers try to cover both points of view, but if Ellis County readers had questions, he said he would be happy to talk with them.

When The Ellis County Press called in reference to the missing TTC articles on the WDL archives, representatives of the paper said their website hosting switch in December was the cause of certain articles missing.

However, archived articles relating to various local issues were found. Articles and editorials relating to the WDL’s anti-TTC coverage were taken off.

Two different reporters for this paper conducted searches over the span of a month. When notified of this, ACM manager Jeremy Halbreich said the reporters might have been performing the searches incorrectly.

After the WDL was contacted about the situation, The Ellis County Press was able to find the once-missing archives.

“Must've been the flip of a switch,” Halbreich said. The site is now showing over 200 results from the past 744 days.

© 2008 Ellis County Press:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE