Jay Seaton

Publisher, Daily Sentinel

Grand Junction, CO

[CO-E 0101]

I’m a college football fan. My team’s Kansas State University. Kansas State had a coach who they thought was going to be just wonderful. He replaced a legend. And he failed. His name is Ron Prince. And so he got fired. And so Kansas State’s in the process of looking for a new coach. It’s during this season, and there’s a coach at Texas Christian University named Gary Patterson that’s very successful, and he’s a K-State grad and everyone thought, you know, Gary Patterson’s a likely next coach.

And so the newspapers are covering the coaching search, and there’s one blogger in particular [gopowercat.com] – one guy – who’s been very successful at providing, you know, recruiting news and, you know, how people are doing in practice and all the stuff that football fans love. We eat that stuff up, except it’s all through one guy. And, you know, he’s got some sources, I guess, in the athletic department, but, you know, it’s not responsible journalism. It’s just one guy.

So this coaching search is going on, the old legend Bill Snyder’s talking about coming back. It’s a possibility that he would come back and coach. But a lot of people want Gary Patterson – the new guy or the guy from Texas Christian.

So this blogger in his successful website’s apparently broken the story. And he strips across the top of this website “It’s Patterson!” – the new coach is Gary Patterson.

He had details about the terms of his contract and all that. And anyway it’s just entirely not true. He got burned by a source, and the new coach was, in fact, the return of a legend – Bill Snyder.

The newspapers didn’t go with it. The newspapers have an editorial process. The local newspaper, which happens to be my family newspaper – The Manhattan Mercury – knew there was something wrong because they weren’t just dealing with one person; they were dealing with a group of editors and the editors were asking questions and forcing the reporters to seek additional sources.

And so when they really looked into it – when they really vetted it – they realized it wasn’t Gary Patterson at all, it was Bill Snyder.

That showed me the difference between newspapers and just some guy with a computer terminal. And it demonstrates, for me, what newspapers can do to continue to be the most important voice in their community.