UpriseRI denied access to invite only ISO-New England event; ProJo, NPR okayed

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I asked to cover the “Special Invitation Only Event with Gordon van Welie, ISO New England” as press, and was denied access by Peter Howe of Denterline, “an independent public relations agency that inspires and influences the people you care about most.”

Denterlein advertises itself saying, “We help organizations prepare for and weather crisis events that can damage even the most stalwart brands.” Like Invenergy, I suppose.

Here’s the email:

“Hi, Steve … Jim Leahy forwarded your email to me (we’re helping with press tomorrow).

“Thanks for asking, but it’s a by-invitation-only private event, and we’re inviting only non-partisan/non-activist outlets like the ProJo, NPR, etc. Thanks for understanding.


“Peter J. Howe | Senior Advisor”

Peter Howe

Calling the ProJo non-partisan on the issue of the power plant is frankly silly:

Editorial: New England’s energy challenges

Editorial: Costly choices on energy

What New England Coalition for Affordable Energy and Rhode Islanders for Affordable Energy are trying to do is court friendly media.

Dave Anderson, from the Energy and Policy Institute writes, “The Energy and Policy Institute tried to RSVP for the event, but was told that space was limited to attendees “attached to one of the sponsoring organizations” by a representative of the Liberty Square Group.”

I’ll be covering the event with protesters outside.

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About Steve Ahlquist 1052 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade.Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading.atomicsteve@gmail.com


  1. I don’t read Projo, and I often find myself screaming at my little portable radio I use when I wash dishes. NPR has often missed the mark on local news. I only listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and The Moth, with occasional reruns of Cah Tahk and International News. Occasionally a friend will post an article from Projo. I am always pissed off when I read one.

    But I do read every article I can here on UpriseRI, and have the utmost respect for Steve Ahlquist as a journalist and as a person.

  2. Well let’s be real, it’s not like they can expect fair, non-slanted coverage from this blog.

    As far as ProJo being non-partisan – you cite two editorials, when you know that opinion/editorial and reporting are separate operations at a newspaper.

    I’m never happy to see journalists denied access. But you also make it clear that you are not a straight news reporter, and that you have already taken a side on this issue and therefore they can’t expect anything approaching fair, non-biased coverage.

    • Editorial policy dictates slant. The only difference between my work and the work of bigger orgs like NPR and the ProJo is that I am upfront and honest about my opinions. People are free to decide if my work has been biased. I would say my coverage has been scrupulous, I cover everybody completely. I don’t leave out a bit of video.

      As to environmental coverage, if anything I am biased by the science. The science says fossil fuels are a world wide death sentence. There aren’t two sides to science, there is science aka truth, and there is anti-science, aka fantasy. Fantasy kills us.

      The kind of journalism I’m doing is advocacy journalism. It has a long and glorious tradition. Advocacy journalism has exposed the conditions in meatpacking plants, exposed lynchings, and exposed the lies of fossil fuel companies.

      Invenergy has every right to keep me out of their event, and every right to invite in media that wishes to collaborate. But realize this: You won’t know the truth of what happens in that room, not really, unless the reporters actively seek out the spin and the lies and expose them. Of course, doing that means not being invited back next time.

      Like me.

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