Media: Where'd That Story Come From & Why Is It So Familiar?
If you ever wanted evidence of (a) the struggles going on behind the scenes for the attention of education journalists, (b) journalists' struggles to indicate to readers where they get their story ideas, and (b) the unfortunate habit among news outlets of presuming we haven't seen previous coverage of a similar story (and pretending it doesn't exist), yesterday's NYT story about union contributions to Republican candidates (Seeking Allies, Teachers’ Unions Court G.O.P., Too) had it all.
There was no acknowledgement in the Times piece. Reporter Motoko Rich tells me she had seen the Huffpost piece by Joy Resmovits but she'd been working on hers "for a few months." Rich's piece does however incidate that one of its primary sources of informatoin was StudentsFirst, the reform group headed by Michelle Rhee. There's no indication in the HuffPost story if the topic was pitched or arrived at some other way.
As I've said before, I think that reporters should where at all possible indicate if a story has been pitched to them, especially in the case of advocacy organizations rather than unaffiliated issues, and that media outlets need to grow up about linking out to and acknowledging other outlets' stories on similar topics.
Image via NB: This blog post was pitched to me by my own sense of angry entitlement, and has no doubt appeared previously from other better writers.