A paper with bite

  • Horse Fly

  • Horse Fly

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to one of this issue's feature stories, "From the ground up."

The paper: The Taos Horse Fly is a 7-year-old monthly whose name says it all: Its stories sometimes leave bite marks.

Local media scene: Dominated by the long-lived weekly Taos News, owned by the same company that owns the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The story: "I lived here for 20 years, left for 10, then came back in 1998," says publisher Bill Whaley. "I ran into one of my old friends, who was then publishing a monthly newspaper called Geronimo. When he left, I took it over and renamed it. There were simply a lot of local issues that weren’t being covered. The local Democratic chairman was being investigated by the state over some subdivision violations. He had sued the News, and therefore they had stopped covering the issue entirely. Then there was the whole Taos Pueblo casino battle."

The battle plan: "We are famous for our three cultures. This is a place with family feuds that go back generations. I think we’re the only paper that truly understands that," Whaley says. "A lot of stuff here is done behind closed doors. We wanted from the outset to raise the political consciousness of Taoseños."

Notable stories: In 1999-2000, the Horse Fly doggedly followed an attempt by the Taos Pueblo to open a casino at the Kachina Lodge, right in the middle of town — an attempt that was eventually shot down in court. "The Taos News wouldn’t touch the story because it was deemed politically incorrect to call the Pueblo to task," says Whaley.

Advice: "You don’t have to be radical. In a world dominated by McDonald’s-type newspapers, people are hungry for real news," Whaley says. "Keep your emphasis on your community. A paper should be perceived as part of the community rather than just an extension of its publishers."

 

Twelve issues of The Taos Horse Fly are $15 for Taos County residents and $35 for "out-of-town friends." Send a check to P.O. Box 1135, Taos, N.M. 87571, or see www.horseflyonline.com.

 

High Country News Classifieds
  • WATERSHED PROGRAMS COORDINATOR
    Are you looking for a positive and success oriented work environment, the opportunity to join a (small but) dynamic group of people supporting watershed activities...
  • BACKCOUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL MANAGER
    Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is looking for an experienced and highly motivated individual to organize our annual Backcountry Film Festival and Tour and coordinate additional...
  • LAND CONSERVATION MANAGER
    SUMMARY Leads, administers and manages the land conservation, conservation easement stewardship, and property management activities of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department within...
  • CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM ATTORNEY, NEVADA
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Staff Attorney who is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • WATER POLICY ANALYST WITH WRA (BOULDER)
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates seeks a passionate Water Policy Analyst with knowledge of western water issues to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen...
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST
    9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • PROGRAM MANAGER, SUSTAINING FLOWS
    Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - VERDE RIVER EXCHANGE
    Verde River Exchange - Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • CODE COMPLIANCE OFFICER
    Teton County Planning & Building is hiring! Our ideal candidate is a team-player, a problem-solver, pays attention to detail, and can clearly communicate technical material...
  • ARCHITECTURE DRAFTSPERSON/PROJECT MANAGER
    Studio Architects is seeking a full time Architectural drafts-person/project manager with1-3 years of experience to join our firm. At Studio Architects our mission is to...
  • ASSISTANT MANAGER/TRAINEE, COLORADO RANCH
    needed for 16,000+ acre conservation property in south central Colorado. Qualified candidate would have experience working on a ranch or wilderness property, general forestry/fire management...
  • FARM HAND &/OR NANNY IN ESCALANTE
    Nanny for 18-mnth-old. Yearly salary, vacation, health insurance. Spanish/other foreign-language native spkr prefrrd.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Washington Association of Land Trusts seeks an ED to build on WALTs significant success & to lead the association to new levels of achievement. See...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM STRAWBALE HOME IN WESTERN COLORADO!
    Secluded, energy efficient Southwestern home on 40 wooded acres. Broker - Rand Porter - United Country Real Colorado Properties. 970-261-1248, $425K
  • FORMER RETREAT CENTER/CONSERVATION PROPERTY FOR SALE
    57 acres in Skull Valley, AZ, 17 miles from Prescott, year-round creek, swimming holes, secluded canyon, hiking/meditation trails, oaks, pines, garden, greenhouse. House, office building,...
  • HISTORIC RANCH HOME W/ 20 ACRES
    Historic 1893 Ranch Headquarters. 4 Bdrm, 3.5 Ba, 4000 ft2. Remodeled 2002. Includes 2 studio apts, stables, arena, workshop, 5 RV hookups. Chirachua & Peloncillo...
  • VICE PRESIDENT OF RETAIL OPERATIONS
    The Vice President of Retail Operations will provide overall leadership and accountability for purchasing, product development, merchandising planning, visual merchandising, retail operational excellence, oversight and...