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Hospital pulls local newspaper from gift shop

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    NMU         KENTUCKY         Newsgathering         Aug 17, 2001    

Hospital pulls local newspaper from gift shop

  • The editor of the Appalachian News-Express said the Pikeville Methodist Hospital stopped selling 100 copies of the newspaper because of critical coverage.

The operators of the Pikeville Methodist Hospital in eastern Kentucky halted the sale of the Appalachian News-Express on Aug.7 in a move the newspaper viewed as retaliation for critical coverage. The hospital also pulled advertising from the newspaper to the tune of “tens of thousands of dollars” and canceled a printing contract for the hospital newsletter, according to News-Express editor David Gross.

The three-day-a-week paper circulated 100 copies to Pikeville Methodist, half in an honor box and half in the gift shop. Gross said there was no end in sight to the contentious relationship. “In our opinion, it was an attempt to influence coverage,” Gross said. “But we have not buckled.” The hospital continues to sell competing newspapers.

In the past, the newspaper has reported on the hospital’s resistence to a labor movement, opposing lawsuits between the hospital and a contractor during a $75 million renovation and, most recently, ommissions on a nonprofit tax filing.

Gross said the hospital pulled one edition of the newspaper in 1993. The News-Express has a circulation of about 10,000.

SM


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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