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When the reporting of a story kills the story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by tapintoamerica, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    I don't claim to know anything about the Michigan search or Kirk Herbstreit's sources, but I'll throw this out there anyway: Is it possible that Herbstreit's report was accurate and that its release in a very public forum killed the deal?

    Has anyone ever suspected this sort of thing may have happened to them? (Sources tell you something and you write it; the subject intended to take a job/do whatever but needed the secret kept for another few days; and then his own embargo was inconveniently broken, he backed out of his intentions and claimed he never had them at all?)
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) told a story in "All The President's Men" (the movie, don't know if it was in the book, about a time when he heard LBJ was going to replace J. Edgar Hoover and wrote about it. When LBJ saw the story, he reappointed Hoover for life.
  3. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    It was in the book, too.

    I'm sure if there's any Washington bureau folk on this board, they could give you pages of examples.
  4. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember something like that happening years ago with a college football coach. Georgia, maybe? A coach agrees to take the job, AJC (I think) reports it, coach backs out and denies the story. Anyone else remember that?
  5. Boomer7

    Boomer7 Active Member

    Dan Shaughnessy's column on Theo Epstein (temporarily) convinced Epstein not to sign the extension he planned on signing two years ago.
  6. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think Herbstreit wanted to stick it to Michigan. You know how those Ohio State folk can be.

    All right, on a serious note... he claims his sources were correct. And they might have been. Maybe LSU got wind of those rumors and prepared a huge contract extension to keep him there. We'll never know the truth now, I guess.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sources can be correct (at the time anyway) and still burn you.

    The best stories where your reporting kills it is if you are reporting on something where people are misbehaving and they change policies or people resign or whatever before you even write the story. Happens quite a bit in news.
  8. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    Are you talking about Glen Mason? As I recall, he was at Kansas, accepted the Georgia job, then immediately backed out, then jumped ship and went to Minnesota. (my chronology could be off here, but this happened in 1995-96)
  9. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    What!!?? A source might be forwarding a personal or professional agenda by speaking with a reporter?

    Never! People are not like that at all. [end sarcasm font]

    Jesus! Every frickin' time they open their mouth, they are working you. Get use to it.
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    That time when JLo and Ben Affleck were going to get married
  11. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    da man is talking about the former N.C. State coach who accepted the Tech job, but told Tech brass he did not want it reported or showing up in the press.

    AJC reported it based on solid facts. The story was correct, that Tech had a new coach.

    Then the Wolfpack coach got pissed and took his name out of the job.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    We've had that happen to us. I might have told the story before, but a couple of years ago, we had a prominent coach leaving one place to go to another. One source story, but a pretty good source: the coach, who told us he was doing this.

    Next day, he changed his mind, and although he didn't mention us specifically, he commented on false rumors in the media.

    What are you going to do? Happens these days.
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