Tribune's Stolen Lunch, Award-O-Rama (Media Coverage)

What is a reporter to do if her editor walks up and hands her an article and says, essentially, "write something just like this."? Well, she writes it, of course (I guess, never having been a real reporter). And never mentions the publication that broke the story.

That seems to be what's happened this week in the case of the Christian Science Monitor, which published a story titled Hard-charging High Schools Urge Students to Do Less (also printed in USA Today) that is at very least a spinoff of story that the Chicago Tribune's Jodi Cohen first broke on March 3rd with a much better headline (Lunch -- Or Harvard?) and followed up on this week with New Trier supports balance, lunch.

There's some additional reporting about Palo Alto High to serve as a fig leaf in the CSM piece, but nary a mention of the Tribune. Is that right?

Now, this site you're reading now is largely made up of links that were initially gathered through the efforts of others (including other blogs, emails, and the good folks at Google News). So it's not like riffing off of others' work is always bad. But the original creators of the content are always credited, and something that only one person has found (or found first, if I can tell or remember) is usually credited with a "via so-and-so" -- the exception being Jimmy Kilpatrick's EducationNews.org whose abundant finds I have yet to figure out how to credit without embarrassing myself.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong -- feel free to instruct me.


It's not quite the same as an Education Writers Association award, but here are the education-related 2005 National Magazine Awards (and finalists). Kudos to all and sorry about the lack of links they didn't provide:
  • Teacher Magazine: Virginia B. Edwards, editor, for August/September, October, November/December issues. (100,000 to 250,000 circulation).
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education: Philip W. Semas, editor-in-chief, for Degrees of Suspicion: Inside the Multimillion-Dollar World of Diploma Mills, by Thomas Bartlett and Scott Smallwood, June 25 (excellence in reporting).
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education: Philip W. Semas, editor-in-chief, for its special report on plagiarism by Thomas Bartlett, Scott Smallwood, David Glenn and Scott McLemee, December 17 (excellence in reporting).
  • The Atlantic Monthly: Cullen Murphy, managing editor, for How Serfdom Saved the Women’s Movement, by Caitlin Flanagan, March (essays).
  • National Geographic: William L. Allen, editor-in-chief, for Was Darwin Wrong?, by David Quammen, November (essays).

Congratulations as well to all my friends and betters who are Lisagor Finalists:

  • Chicago Reporter and Chicago Parent: "The State of the Child: Asthma and Lead Poisoning" (media collaboration)
  • Chicago Sun-Times, "Robin's Story: A Lesson in Survival"; Chicago Tribune, "Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Years Later," "No Child Left Behind." (in-depth reporting)
  • Chicago Sun-Times, public corruption; Chicago Tribune, education reform (editorial)
  • Catalyst Chicago: "Rocky Start for Renaissance" (in-depth reporting/trade)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most reporters on local or specialized papers has experienced what the Tribune experienced: seeing a national paper or a TV station swoop in and take your story, without credit. When I was at Education Week, the newspaper tried to fight back with an ad campaign that showed the lead of an Education Week story and the lead of a similar story from a national ppaer (usually the New York Times) a week or two later. The headline of the ad: "The weekly that acts like a daily."

9:03 AM  

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