Over on Fox 8, reporter Dave Nethers has a great exclusive story on a group of Akron police officers who work the meth beat. The station road shotgun with these dedicated cops while they toured the city sniffing down illegal and dangerous labs . . . hold on . . . this sounds familiar . . . oh, that's right, I wrote that exact same story three weeks ago.
Hey, what Fox 8 lacks in originality they've made up for in spotting good copy. Call us biased, but even though the station interviewed the exact same cops and featured the stats that were in our cover story, the TV version lacks the high drama and chiseled prose of the original. Also, they don't have a scene with a sex party.
We kid, we kid. If you read this blog, you know we borrow news stories all the time, but, hey, Fox 8, there's a subtle art involved: Opening joke, attribution, block quote, closing joke, preferably something involving a moob. Bam. Journalism.
Obviously, there's no dibs on a news story. Akron's meth team is made up of great guys who take their work seriously, and the more press the unit gets the better. Also, any media coverage that spreads the word about a largely ignored society ill is aces by us.
That said, the “exclusive” part burns a little. Maybe someone in the TV business can explain to us simple print folk how a report can be an “exclusive” when weeks before it was literally on the front page of a high circulation weekly you can find in every bar, gas station, taxidermist, tattoo parlor, executive den, and bait shop in town. In our corner of the journalism world, that ain't an exclusive.