Wikipedia strikes again. Not Stephanie, but the Argus gets it this time.

Check this out -


In March of 2006, the Argus Leader came under fire for attempting to control distribution rights within the city of Sioux Falls.

The Argus Leader through a subsidiary company, News Center Distribution (NCD), had local businesses sign contracts saying that the Argus Leader controlled the publications to be distributed in their businesses. [2]

The agreement allowed the Argus Leader to display and give away its free publications like Live, PetMag and City Style. Other independent publishers such as Prime, Renter's Guide, the Shopping News and others would have to pay the Argus Leader a fee to distribute their publications.

But if the independent publishers didn't pay the Argus Leader, they threatened to physically take their competitors magazines out of contracted businesses.

The Argus Leader’s move was viewed as a violation on First Amendment rights after they gained exclusive contracts to control distribution on property managed by the city of Sioux Falls. The City of Sioux Falls called the Argus Leader’s contracts with the city owned property: “A reasonable restriction on free speech.”

City lawyers said there was legal precedent to back up the move. They cited, ironically, cases where Gannett(the parent company of the Argus Leader) had sued and lost to gain access to the same type of property.

But when the controversy was made public, the city council canceled the contract with the Argus Leader distributor. The council said such a contract was a move in the direction of limiting free speech.

As for the private businesses that signed contracts with the Argus Leader distributor, many of them weren’t aware of what they had signed and said that they were mislead or confused by what the Argus Leader distributors had told them.

And the contracts themselves were shown not to hold much weight either. A local lawyer, Harry Engberg, said that if a client had brought the contract to him for review, he would tell them, “They were crazy to sign it.” [3]

Apparently, starting in September, someone went and deleted a detailed history for the Argus, leaving just the controversy. I think it's good and valuable to know the controversy behind the newspaper, but it does do readers a disservice to eliminate factual information.

If you can't let it ride on it's own merits when stacked up against other information, then you shouldn't bother.


Anonymous said…
I grow more appalled and sickened by the Argus Leader every day. Their preaching and sense of moral superiority and arrogance has long-since passed the point of outrageous. While constantly blabbing on about what they see as corruption and claiming to look out for the little man and also smearing our good governor, the Argus Leader (a subsidiary of Gannett Corporation) which makes tons of money as a near-monopoly, is ACTUALLY TRYING TO CRUSH ITS COMPETITORS!! Who is going to expose this outrage? Who will do news stories about this? Nobody, people, because the media protects their own. Their dirty secrets will remain buried.
Anonymous said…
I just looked at the history of that article. It looks like the history section was deleted because it was copied directly from the Argus Leader's website. Wikipedia doesn't want any copyrighted text in their articles so they delete any they find.

Anyone is allowed to write a new history section, but it can't be copied from somewhere else.
Anonymous said…
This isn't quite as good as Rapid City Mayor Jim Shaw announcing his conviction of disorderly conduct at the IA State Fair and blasting Iowa Law enforcement at the same time. Apparently trying to pre-empt the release from the Polk County State's attorney. Do you folks in Rapid City get tired of what this guy is doing?

Why plead guilty if he is truly innocent?
Anonymous said…
It looks like the history portion was deleted because it was cut and pasted from the Argus' website. Wiki searches it's material and pulls off anything it finds is in violation. How about you write a history of the Argus PP.

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