Rebel Media: Is this thing on?
1 year, 1 month ago
Well, I heard from three people over the weekend who asked why I haven't blogged lately.
I have no good answer.
So while I sort out a couple of things to opine on, please read this review on Illinois Statehouse News, which I have used as a fine source of content for the last couple of year. It's written by Bruce Rushton, who was pulled over in Adams County a couple of years ago while he was covering something at the Adams County Courthouse.
Necrophilia is legal in Illinois, and the legislature is cracking down.
The Belleville News-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch in February broke the news that state Rep. Daniel Beiser, D-Alton, is sponsoring a measure outlawing posthumous hanky-panky, which attracted attention as far away as England, where the Daily Mail published a blurb. But there wasn’t a peep in the Chicago Sun-Times. Or the Chicago Tribune. Or the Associated Press, the wire service that provides news large and small to newspapers large and small throughout the nation.
Leave it up to Illinois Statehouse News to report that the House on March 28 voted 114-0 to make sex with a dead person a felony offense. The story by the news service dedicated to goings-on in state government ran in the Daily Ledger in Canton (population 14,498) and the Daily American in West Frankfort (population 8,125). Even the Alton Telegraph, hometown newspaper of the bill’s prime sponsor, used the story by Illinois Statehouse News to keep readers abreast.
In Chicago, the NBC television affiliate used quotes contained in the Illinois Statehouse News article, as did democraticunderground.com, a website dedicated to liberal principles and making fun of the GOP.
“What will Republicans do for dates?” wondered commenter rfranklin in a response to the piece posted on the democraticunderground.com website.
Such broad reach is the goal of the fledgling news service that begs for attention from anyone with a printing press, computer or satellite dish.
“As part of our mission to supply robust, far-reaching coverage of Statehouse and government news, Illinois Statehouse News encourages all Illinois news broadcasters, media organizations and citizen journalists to steal our stuff,” the news service says on its website. “Yes, that’s right. Steal it.”
Even papers that pay for Associated Press coverage of state government are turning to Illinois Statehouse News.
“I think they move some pretty good stuff,” says Jim Shrader, publisher of the Alton Telegraph. “We trust the content, and that’s why we choose to use it. … It’s one more news service that doesn’t increase my expenses.”
Shrader says that Illinois Statehouse News produces stories that the best-known wire service doesn’t provide.
“I understand that AP is short of manpower – they’re (the wire service is) going to get what they’re fed,” Shrader says. “I don’t want to say it (Illinois Statehouse News product) has more of a downstate focus, but it’s not quite as necessarily Chicago-centric.”
Click here for more.
Necrophilia aside, Illinois Statehouse News aims for greater impact than “Hey, Ethels,” old-school journalistic lingo for inconsequential stories read over breakfast that provoke little more than chuckles or a gee-whiz.
Soon after it started operations, Illinois Statehouse News in 2009 reported that lawmakers between 2003 and 2008 had awarded 197 scholarships to relatives of campaign contributors. It was the sort of slog through public records that takes months, and it provoked a reaction from Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, who said in an online comment to the story that the speaker has voted to abolish the scholarship program and would do so again.