Yesterday, the Hanging Shad ran an exclusive story about allegations of gay-baiting push polls in the race for state senate in the 13th district. Democrat Tom Bruenn and Republican Len Suzio are competing in a special election to replace former state Sen. Tom Gaffey who resigned after pleading guilty to larceny charges.
After the Shad posted the story, other news organizations rightly picked it up—it’s an important story. Daniela Altimari of the Hartford Courant and its political blog Capitol Watched picked it up and ran with it, getting input from the two state party chairs. Christine Stuart (another excellent reporter) of CTNewsJunkie.com, linked to the Shad.
Somewhere along the line, the fact that the Shad first reported the story—exclusively— got lost. The New Haven Register ran the story complete with the question in the push poll and other information contained only in my report but failed to give attribution. An incredibly popular website, the aggregate site CTCapitolReport.com, waited until a story with no attribution was published to post it in a blaring headline on its site. CTCapitolReport.com was sent the Hanging Shad exclusive early in the day Thursday but chose to do nothing with it until the Register published its unattributed story.
All of this may seem like the epitome of “inside baseball,” but it’s also a look inside how things work in this new media. In journalism school, we’re taught not to use someone else’s work without attribution.