Keeping Kobe well covered |

Keeping Kobe well covered

Even before the Aspen Daily News announced it was banning all stories on the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case from its pages – an editorial decision later questioned publicly by its owner – all newspapers in Colorado were mulling the play it would give this saga.

The location of the case has put Colorado newspapers, and especially those in the High Country, in an interesting position.

On the one hand, Kobe Bryant has absolutely nothing to do with our community. He’s a man we’ve never met and one who lives a completely different lifestyle than any of us.

In many ways, this is a bigger story for the city of Los Angeles and those who follow the Lakers. For us, it should be of no more interest than the O.J. Simpson trial of nine years ago.

On the other hand, the young woman who had this encounter with Bryant – a liaison being exposed in excruciating detail in court this month – is a hometown Colorado girl. She’s an Eagle Valley High School graduate with a standard resort-area summer job. She has a similar background and upbringing as many of the young women who came through the Summit School District.

In this way, the Kobe Bryant case hits very close to home.

The Aspen paper has decided to only print a story when a verdict comes down, and to ignore the daily details and legal maneuverings of the case.

While this decision has merit, and allows the paper to claim the moral high ground over the media circus and pack journalism mentality, we think it is a disservice to readers.

This is not just O.J. for us. Not when District Attorney and Breckenridge resident Mark Hurlbert is at the center of the frenzy, not when the case provides such an interesting daily study of the workings of the Colorado justice system as it faces pressures it has never faced before.

Vail and Summit have a kinship tied tightly by the thread of Interstate 70 and the ski industry. Although the trained eye and locals understand there are big differences between the two communities, what happens there could happen here. And what happens there is important here.

So Summit County has a unique perspective on the Kobe Bryant case and is affected by it like no other community in the world. Therefore, this newspaper will follow the tale along all its twists and turns right up through verdict and its aftermath.

Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Jason Starr, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Aidan Leonard and Martha Lunsky.

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