Claremore Daily Progress

Verdigris

October 6, 2013

Conflict questions raised in PR firm’s tie to DA

Police chief: $8K paid to principals who also own weekly paper

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

Wylie also told a reader who responded to the article that the PR business is separate from the weekly newspaper even though they share the same owners and business address, and that clients of the PR firm have no influence over what is published in the paper.
Wylie quoted his wife in the article as questioning whether Brown’s request for financial records of the relationship was an attempt to intimidate the Wylies “while hiding behind a badge, uniform and gun.” 
That caused Brown to raise questions of conflict of interest between the Wylies’ PR business relationship with DA Steidley and the couple’s newspaper criticism of the police chief and other supporters of the petition asking a grand jury to look into her conduct in office.
“It seems the bias is the result of Wylie’s public relations contract with (DA) Steidley,” said Brown. “Wylie has published material without asking me for information, which is very one-sided and appears to be improper for a journalist.”
Two former presidents of the Society of Professional Journalists, the country’s largest journalism organization, told The Daily Progress the relationship between the Wylies and the district attorney was a violation of the organization’s voluntary code of ethics regarding conflict of interest.
Kevin Smith, chairman of the SPJ Ethics Committee and deputy director of the Kiplinger Public Affairs Program at Dayton, Ohio, University, and Fred Brown, a Sunday columnist for the Denver Post and a former ethics chairman, said it is inappropriate for journalists to engage in a business relationship with public officials, even if indirectly through a separate company.
“You are either a journalist or something else,” said Smith. “You cannot have a public relations firm that deals with public officials and then run a newspaper and expect that you will some how divide yourself between the two.”

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Verdigris
  • Outstanding students Verdigris, Claremore graduates recognized for ‘outstanding’ achievement at OU

    A Verdigris High School graduate and two Claremore High School graduates were recognized Friday and Saturday night for their academic and leadership achievements at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • 9628597web.jpg Opponents can’t score on OSU’s Battenfield

    Oklahoma State freshman pitcher Blake Battenfield continues to impress Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday with his perfect 0.00 earned-run average this season.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cardinals fall in 3A semifinals; Lady Cards eliminated in quarters

    The Verdigris Cardinals saw their Class 3A State Tournament journey end Friday afternoon in the Final Four.
    Oklahoma City Centennial eliminated the No. 4-ranked Cardinals, 62-51 in the semifinals at the Big House in Oklahoma City.

    March 16, 2014

  • DSC_0179web.jpg Cards fly into 3A State Tournament

    Verdigris junior guard Cade Upshaw lives for March Madness.
    The 5-foot-10 sharp-shooter overcame a sluggish performance in a loss to Tahlequah Sequoyah to bounce back for a 20-point outing in the Cardinals’ 72-42 win over Antlers Saturday evening in the Class 3A Area Tournament at Checotah Event Center.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0098web.jpg ‘Soaring to State’

    In the hometown of Carrie Underwood, Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell proved to be Oklahoma’s ‘Basketball Idol’ in Class 3A Girls Basketball.
    The 5-foot-8 floor general put the No. 4-ranked Lady Cardinals on her shoulders and carried Verdigris back to the the state tournament with the 53-40 win over No. 5 Tahlequah Sequoyah Friday night in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0168web.jpg 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Tahlequah Sequoyah wins nail-biter over No. 4 Verdigris

    The Tahlequah Sequoyah Indians pulled the upset Friday night and punched their ticket to the Class 3A State Tournament.
    Behind Caisen Green’s game-high 26 points and B.J. Leach’s 16 points, the Indians roared past No. 4 Verdigris, 64-55 in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah

    Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan drained two key 3-pointers during Saturday’s Class 3A Regional Finals that provided a spark and a huge win over Vian.
    Hanslovan, who is accustomed to winning state championships in soccer, will look to move the No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals one step closer toward a berth in the 3A State Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the area finals against Tahlequah Sequoyah at Checotah High School.

    March 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winter March 2014 Winter’s last gasp?

    A powerful winter storm brought sleet and snow to Rogers County Sunday, leaving roads in hazardous condition and all schools were closed on Monday.

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0063web.jpg ‘Night to Remember’

    Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell may have won the points column, but Inola’s Lexi Williams and the Lady Longhorns stole the spotlight at the buzzer.
    Williams, who transferred into Inola this year from Bixby and is the daughter of Lady Longhorns’ coaches Donnie and Lori Martin, made Thursday night one to remember in Rogers County.

    February 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0093web.jpg Cards rout Inola 98-80

    There was no denying Thursday night that the Verdigris Cardinals had no plans of sharing their Will Rogers Conference Championship.
    Behind Cade Upshaw’s game-high 27 points and the accurate 3-point shooting of freshman forward Brewster Peacock, the Class 3A No. 4 Cardinals swarmed over Inola, 98-80.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo