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Pa. newspaper needs public's help

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Captain Obvious, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. The Pocono Record is asking readers to sift through 13,889 pages of documents related to a sex scandal and potential fraud involving a former vice-president at East Stroudsburg University.

    Guess Dow Jones doesn't want to pony up the cash to hire people to conduct research. You have to wonder how many people with nothing better to do will sift through all of those documents.

  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I suspect they will find someone with an axe to grind to dig up some dirt on someone.

    The broader point this illustrates is what all these budget cuts have done to the art of investigative journalism. Everyone is so busy cranking out their 12 stories per week --- yes, one place I worked actually had a quota for newsside reporters --- that no one has time to do research.
  3. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    That's the most embarrassing thing I can remember seeing in a newspaper in a long time.

    Telling readers that it's important that they know about this, because it's their tax money being spent here, but "our small staff needs help", is just more confirmation to readers that they can do the legwork, get the information, draw their conclusions and bypass the newspaper altogether.
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Washington Post did the exact, same thing a couple of years ago when Sarah Palin's e-mails as governor were released en masse.

    Or at least very close to the same thing when they asked for the public's help in going through them all.

    While the circumstances are clearly not the same, I fail to see a substantial difference between the approaches.
  5. Diego Marquez

    Diego Marquez Member

    Will comment later. Reading page 2,472 right now.
  6. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    Ten, fifteen years ago, reporters at a small paper would give up whatever free time they had on something like this... simply to produce the stories that would get them a shot at the bigger papers. Now, that ladder no longer exists.
  7. lesboulez

    lesboulez Member

    reporters used to be reporters. most aren't anymore, they are content producers. and some will do that kind of work b/c that's what they are supposed to do, not just to move up the ladder.
  8. I don't have a problem with "crowd-sourcing," but this was poor delivery and communication of the idea, I think.
  9. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Yep. In 2001 I was at a small weekly and started a lengthy investigation into wrongdoings at a local governmental body. After the first story was published, I shopped it around. A much bigger daily in our state was interested and started their own investigation. Shortly after our second story came out, the local daily did its own four-part "investigative" series which was a BS kiss-up series of the governmental leaders saying nothing to see here, folks. When the bigger daily came out with their series a few days later, the "reporter" at the local daily complained that if he'd had the time and resources he could have done a big series like that.
    Thing is he did have the time, he just didn't want to do any real reporting plus he had a huge crush on the female CEO of said governmental body. I was one of two reporters on staff and still had to crank out the usual 7-10 stories a week in addition to doing the investigative stuff for nearly 10 months, so I didn't take much pity on my competitor.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    From the link:

    Get me rewrite!

    What a pathetic request.
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