That’s what 10Connects.com asks in a recent piece.
“I’ve looked at both papers’ coverage,” said Dr. Randy Miller, a journalism professor at USF. “Both sides have had coverage that clearly points out it either is – or isn’t – a good idea to move the stadium across the bay.”
It is an interesting question on several levels…
Do the St. Pete Times and the Tampa Tribune even recognize municipal boundaries anymore? When we were growing up, if you lived in Tampa, you read the Tribune. If you lived in St. Pete, you read the Times. But those boundaries are much greyer nowadays.
And where would the Times’ loyalties lie if it were going to be biased in its coverage? On the one hand, most of their constituents are in Pinellas County. But they are also business partners with the Rays. Is it better for the Times if the Rays stay in St. Pete where they are based? Or is it better for the Times if the Rays are in Tampa where they can maximize revenues and increase the Times’ influence on the east side of the Bay?
And what move would benefit the Tribune? Certainly having the Rays in Tampa would be ideal for the Tribune. But it also risks increasing the Times’ footprint in Tampa.
We don’t know the answers to these questions, but it does raise questions about whether the local newspapers are presenting unbiased coverage of the Rays stadium situation.