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Friday, November 2, 2007

More on Roanoke Times Banning Gun Ads

Last week I posted about the Roanoke Times refusing to run ads for the Roanoke Valley Gun Show that was held at the Civic Center last week end. Bill Cochran has written about it on his Times’ “Field Reports” blog that the refusal to run ads for the gun show was a result of the newspaper tightening its policy on firearms advertising where they will only accept gun and accessory ads from licensed firearm’s dealers only.

Now a trade journal covering the newspaper industry has picked up the story. The Editor and Publisher wrote that the Roanoke Times' marketing director, Nan Mahone explained “Our tightening policy ensures that firearms advertising in our newspaper is restricted to licensed dealers who are subject to these background checks. The Editor and Publisher story noted that the NRA called the policy “blatantly discriminatory” and urged members and pro-gun citizens to contact the newspaper “to express their outrage.” Like VSSA, the NRA did not call for canceling subscriptions. You will recall that rather than urging a boycott of the newspaper, I suggested that pro-gun advertisers take their business somewhere else and then fax a copy of their invoice to the Times every time they purchased advertising from an alternative source so the paper would see a tangible loss of income.

The Editor and Publisher continues that a newspaper statement on the policy says: “The decision to restrict firearms advertising to licensed dealers was made by the advertising department, with the support of the president and publisher and independent of the news and editorial departments. It was made after careful examination of a loophole in a federal law and consideration of the safety of our community.” As I mentioned in my previous post, the new policy comes months after the paper got in hot water with pro-gun advocates…when it published a list of 135,000 Virginians who had earned Right-to-Carry Permits.

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