I had no idea.
Last Tuesday, when I posted my notes from talking with WFB Police Chief Robert Jacobs .. I had no idea he hadn't spoken to other media outlets, and that little ol' Village Spillage had some kind of media scoop.
I didn't know until Wednesday, when I heard WTMJ's Jeff Wagner mention the Chief wasn't talking to the media, but had done an interview with "some blogger." My parents, may they rest in peace, would be so proud. I have reached the status of "some blogger."
Later that night, Charles Benson from Channel 4 called me, wanting to do an interview, now that I'd reached "some blogger" status.
My wife had an outing that night, and I had the kids, one of which does not like staying put in bed. After some thought, I turned Benson down, as I just couldn't count on my kids being asleep when his video crew invaded my house.
That turned out to be a good decision. About 8:30pm, my 2-year old came downstairs needing a wardrobe change. I imagined the scene if I had a video crew in my kitchen, and had to ask "Hey, Charles Benson, could you hand me some wipes? I've got a code brown over here."
Instead of a live interview, Benson screen-capped my blog and put quotes in his news report. The 620am morning crew wanted to do a radio interview with me, but the next morning the Chief had spoken to the JS, so they had the reporter on, instead. Which was a good choice all around. Being on TV or the radio would have given me more chances to stick my foot in my mouth.
All of this made me wonder .. why did the Chief pick me as his media outlet? I think the answer is he thought of me as a villager, and future Trustee, and perhaps underestimated how far the blog could reach.
I imagine the blog being read by thousands in the area was a catalyst for the Chief to go on TV himself.
It's interesting to think of how these events will shape how people speak to me in the future, as a Trustee, knowing that I may hear information that is, or should be public information about our community, and write about it.
In this case, I believe the WFB PD needed to release information about their investigation into the Laughrin house, and the drug problem in general .. I asked the Chief questions, heard the answers, and believe I fairly wrote about it. Honestly, I wish there were more folks doing that, whether they be "real" journalists or bloggers. -- I was probably the 20th villager to talk with the Chief.
In case you haven't noticed .. newspapers are dying. Time did a story on 10 Major Newspapers That May Fold, that included giants like the Philadelphia Daily News, Minneapolis Star-Trib, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Detroit News, SF Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times. The writing is on the wall. The journalism field is shrinking by the minute.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is on the decline and will be vastly different in 2-3 years. I'll predict that before the end of 2010, the MJS will be 6-days/week of website only, with Sundays the only printed version. Ad revenue is sinking like a stone during the recession, and zero young people are buying newspaper subscriptions.
Our Whitefish Bay Herald became the NorthShore Herald, then the NOW, and is about 2 minutes from being on-line only. How long they'll keep that alive, who knows. -- The JS told the bloggers than 80% of the traffic to NOW sites were for blogs! Sure tells you there's a thirst for local news that goes unmet by the "professionals."
I don't write that with any pleasure. I grew up in a newspaper reading household. Living in St. Paul, we had the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Dispatch, and the Minneapolis Star, and the Tribune .. 4 daily newspapers .. and my dad had all 4 delivered to our house, 7-days a week.
Make sure you read other items:
- WFB Police Chief on the record..
- DeMuth Drops out of School Board Race
- Drug death - Day 3
- Searching for answers..
- Another Sad WFB Overdose
- Are you in the WFB Crime Zone?
- The Real Property Tax Report
- WFB Police Annual Report
- WFB Crime Alert & Kaehler
- Buckley for WFB Trustee?
- Here's an idea: WFB Wi-Fi
Don't want to keep checking for news on this blog? Have it delivered to your inbox, so you won't miss anything. Free. Click here.