The Lansing State Journal expended more than 900 words on a rewriting of a recent New Yorker piece about an ornithologist who uncovered a huge scandal in her field. I read and enjoyed the original story. The Journal localized the story because after she was done uncovering the scandal, she took a job at Michigan State. The story didn't contain anything new; it was a very close rehashing of the original piece.
So, big deal, right? Local paper does crappy rewrite of national story with local tie-in. Happens all the time.
But then why in tarnation did the Journal ignore the story about a Lansing native who fabricated a number of memoirs that received national recognition? Let's review: Lansing native makes national news for fabricating books read by people all over the country; scientist uncovers scandal in the very small world of ornithology and then moves to Lansing afterward. Which one sounds more newsworthy to you?
I have to assume that the Journal's leadership:
- Never knew about the story
- Was scared away by its putting a native in such a negative light
- Or balked at localizing such a complex story
Whatever the truth, it's a gross oversight, and it's pathetic.
Remember that Lansing's alt-weekly, City Pulse, finally got around to doing that story -- adding original reporting in the process. Unfortunately, it's not on the paper's site anymore. But the writer did a bang-up job.
So accept my apologies for going on about this, but it drives me to distraction. My hometown deserves better daily news coverage.
Dig this fascinating story sent along by Dr. Kraputnik. Guess I should remove that MySpace photo of me covered in whipped cream and sardines.
Congratulations to Chrysalis' Lauren Marra, who will be installing herself in Washington, D.C., in a few weeks. I'm not sure how Liz and I will soldier on, but we'll make it somehow.
I am the last person on Earth to not care about the World Cup. It's lonely down here.