Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jake Wagman Responds

Jake Wagman emailed this response to my post suggesting that he used tea party research without attribution:

Thanks for your link to my story last week on Ann Wagner's contributions from Enterprise.

I did my own thorough research on this story -- which included going through every single one of the individuals on Wagner's report, and determining if they had any ties to Enterprise.

I'm aware that one or more partisan blogs also published their own research on the same subject.

I think that's fine.

After the October campaign finance report came out, it was pretty clear Wagner got a big boost from Enterprise.

As a reporter in 2012, a key part of my job is determining which stories should be turned around right away (online, daily story) or which one's deserve more research.

I decided that -- even if some blogs had covered the topic -- it was worth it to my readers to invest more in the topic. That included time spent talking to the Wagner campaign, Enterprise, and an outside expert, among others.

It also took a good chunk of time to determine, on my own, which of Wagner's donors had ties to Enterprise.

I think reasonable people can disagree about the news interplay between blogs and newspapers. That's a healthy debate. I like how it turned out in this situation: The blogs did their analysis, and we did ours, which took some more time, but I think turned out well.

Feel free to quote in whole or in part from this email, or contact me with any additional questions.

Cheers, JAKE

His response is OK as far as it goes, and I have no doubt that he did his own research in checking the facts and coming up with his own number for the Wagner donations. I'm glad he spent time adding detail and writing a longer story. However, I still think that if tea party blogs have been discussing this issue for weeks, focusing on many of the same details, and even getting a story published in the Daily Caller, he should reference that in his story, especially since he says he was aware of the blogs. It's pretty clear where this story originated and was developed, and it wouldn't have taken anything away from his own work to acknowledge the fact that the story had previously been discussed.

1 comment:

  1. This is an old subject. Back before blogs, TV (and some radio) news folks regularly got their stories from newspapers, mostly without attribution. But then, newspaper reporters (and their editors) watched local TV to make sure we didn't miss anything, especially after the Globe was gone. I missed the Globies -- it was fun to compete with folks who worked as hard as you did to dig up the story.