Random stuff this week
February 27, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Down Time, Ethics

Aside the fact that this is the first week since I was the Spokesman’s night cops reporter that I have something in the paper every day (and it could stay that way through Monday, if the Community Colleges of Spokane teams do well in the NWAACC tournament this weekend), here’s some of what’s been going on in Nick Eaton’s world.

  • Back when I was in Oregon, the Tacoma News Tribune’s Todd Milles and I talked about how we both worked at The Daily Evergreen when we were at WSU. We discovered that he was sports editor when the Cougars went to the NCAA Tournament in 1994, and I was editor-in-chief the next time they went to the Big Dance, in 2007.
  • A number of small controversies surfaced.

    1. Lisa Waananen (cops reporter for the Evergreen) was my “inside source” on a football player getting arrested over the weekend. Even though we looked up our own information, made our own phone calls and wrote our own briefs, the possible ethical question here is threefold. (Lisa wrote about this same issue in her blog, here.)

      One, Lisa’s and my personal lives intertwine, so we are bound to share (whether we mean to or not) information each of us can use in our jobs, even though some people might consider us competitors in the industry. Two, assuming we are competitors, should we or should we not share any newsworthy information with each other? And three, should I feel obligated to return the favor when I find out something she doesn’t know? I did yesterday, and was clear that it could not be reported yet. And no, I cannot write it here.

      Of course, this time the situation would have been avoided if I looked through the Pullman Police logs myself. That is not considered part of my job.

    2. A WSU SID (sports information director) claimed on Monday that she did not say what I quoted her as saying in this story. For those of you who can’t get to that story because it’s behind the Spokesman’s firewall, the quote is: “Somebody who’s forced out gets fired,” [Linda] Chalich said, “and it’s advantageous to get fired because you get compensated.” Linda’s boss called my boss to complain, and my boss called me to ask what that was about. I explained that I was trying to tell the readers that because the WSU volleyball coach did not get fired, but resigned on his own accord, he will not get compensated. Some people apparently read it to mean WSU did not fire the coach because the university would have to pay him. I called the SID’s office, explained my use of the quote, apologized for the miscommunication, but told them I stand by my interview. That was a direct quote.
    3. I referenced above that I learned something I cannot report yet. This, of course, is a mutual agreement between the Spokesman (me) and WSU Sports Information. In this case, for instance, WSU could (and most likely would) close basketball practice to media if this piece of news gets out. It’s a balancing act between access (which you need to be able to report) and immediate reporting. This happens in all aspects of journalism and is an issue I am bound to come across many times in newspapering.
  • I have a road trip to the Tri-Cities tomorrow, but I need work done on my ’88 Suburban. I was planning to get the brakes fixed (the pads are down to the warning squealers) this week in time for my trip to Los Angeles for the Pac-10 Tournament (I will have to drive to the Spokane airport). But this surprise business trip tomorrow warranted the need to take my car into the shop sooner. Of course, the parts will not be available until next week, so I have to drive to the Tri-Cities and back with brakes that need to be replaced. (Don’t worry, the Les Schwab guys assured me it’s still safe to drive — just annoying.)

That reminds me that since I finally subleased by second apartment in Pullman (long story there), I now will have the money available to fix the numerous things on my car. Or, as my mom has put it, I will have the money available for payments on a new car. That’s the question: Fix my Suburban — which needs bout $1,500 put into it for the new brakes, a new radiator and something to do with the transmission — or get a new car? A brand-new car or a newer used car? They say it’s stupid to get a brand-new car, but they come with great warranties and etc.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Foreign, low-mileage, used!

Comment by vidiot

Oh! Great job!
Very interesting and helpful post.
I add your interesting blog in my iGoogle page!
We’ll expect many new interesting posts from you ;)

Comment by Joe Di

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