Mouthpiece

Onetime Post city editor Evan Dreyer has gone from covering the news to helping make it, as Bill Ritter's communications director.

Dreyer considers the communication directorship he was offered after Ritter's victory to be a great opportunity, but he knows it has drawbacks. He resigned from the Post in part because the hours were keeping him from seeing his family, and working for the governor isn't exactly a nine-to-five gig. Fortunately, his employer is empathetic. "The governor has young children at home," he notes, "and he's told all of us that family comes first." In an attempt to strike a better balance than he did previously, "I'm trying to establish a Wednesday routine where I pick my kids up at school, take them back to the Capitol for a while, and then take them to piano lessons." He laughs before adding, "Let's see what happens when soccer season starts."

And if a call comes in during a game? Dreyer will return it, no matter how unpleasant it might seem. Doing so wasn't always a part of his job, but it is now.

False ID: Newspapers encourage readers to post comments on their websites -- but the ease with which such remarks can be put online brings its own risks. Take the case of an area woman who received a strange call about Scott Cortelyou, a longtime local radio personality arrested on January 23 for allegedly trying to lure a child into sex using the Internet. Cortelyou's name rang a bell with the woman, but she didn't know why someone would phone her about him until she discovered that a comment had been placed on a Canyon Courier article about the bust under her name. The message implied that she had a close relationship with Cortelyou and encouraged readers to phone. Her real number was included.

Print veteran Evan Dreyer is now a very public figure.
Print veteran Evan Dreyer is now a very public figure.

As soon as he heard what happened, Doug Bell, editor of Evergreen Newspapers, a group that includes the Courier, immediately removed the thread; he thinks it was visible for less than a day. Still, he admits that occurrences like this one can't be prevented entirely. Bell sets aside time in the evenings to check each day's posts and routinely removes anything objectionable -- and the presence of a personal phone number in the Cortelyou-related item would have doomed it. But because the Courier doesn't have enough staffers to moderate comments in advance, messages go live immediately.

The woman whose identity was briefly stolen filed a report with the Park County Sheriff's Office, but she doesn't expect anything to come of it; the web pretender probably didn't break any law. Nevertheless, she's removed online ads that contain information about a business she owns for fear of being victimized again -- and there's no guarantee that she (or anyone else) won't be. "Let's face it," Bell says. "We have no idea who's posting these comments." Onetime Post city editor Evan Dreyer has gone from covering the news to helping make it, as Bill Ritter's communications director.

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