The Marianas Variety suggests, without making a specific accusation, that political retribution is behind the CNMI Department of Public Health pulling its advertising.
That would be troubling, if true -- and illegal. For example, in a quick search for First Amendment Retaliation by governments I found cases from Mississippi and Puerto Rico.
If possible, the newspaper's relations with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and his administration have become more strained since his re-election, capped by their reporting the governor's controversial massage by a woman who was in federal custody.
I'm hesitant to say more, because the piece is more editorial opening salvo than news story. Tomorrow is another day.
However (heh), I did rummage through some back issues that were squirreled away and DPH doesn't seem to be the only government agency that is migrating away from the Variety and staying with the Saipan Tribune.
Evidently, the Variety learned this Friday, which makes the bare-bones reporting more understandable. Additionally, the paper claims that "Variety reporters covering the executive branch are also not getting replies to their requests for information and comments."
I had wondered why they were getting 'scooped' on stories that are essentially press release journalism.