Thursday, September 10, 2009

When it's not your fault

A few years ago, we had interns in Washington, D.C. through a deal with Medill News Service (under the auspices of Northwestern U.'s j-school). We had one each semester, resulting in quite a few different bylines.

Lauren Fitzpatrick was one of the best, if not the best, Medill correspondents we had. I remember her as curious, smart, a good bullshit detector, pretty much fearless, and able to find good storylines in the often grinding, plodding world of the federal government.

She's now at the Southtown Star in Chicago (been there for a while, actually, I believe) and is in the middle of a media controversy of sorts: She wrote a story about a tragic event; a local TV station lifted her story and re-ran it, but made errors in the process; and when the family got mad, they got mad not at the TV station but at Lauren.

The Chicago Reader has now written about this, and I call your attention to it not just because it's an interesting story about journalists and their jobs, but because I love how Lauren is handling the situation and what she says about doing what we all know can be a really tough job sometimes.