First, Peter Sachs piece on Chicago State University's receipt of funding for a new West Side Campus and that story's rewrite being published by the Chicago Tribune is now up to 55 votes at Windy Citizen. There is a long discussion there of the old ethics of the news room, where using a competitors story to write your own version is accepted and the new ethics of the on-line world, where it is called theft.
One of the reasons I believe Sachs original story was buried lies in the old look of the ChiTownDailyNews. You may remember the evergreen photos that were always present. That look continues today, with the evergreen pictures moved to the bottom of the page and a single "news" photo on the top of the page.
I've been internally critical of the "new" look at CTDN. As a citizen journalist I know that there are more than the three stories headlined on page one. Yet, there is no way to access the stuff without knowing about it. Citizen Journalism, such as it exists, is hidden under the new system. And let's be clear, I think Sachs' original piece wasn't noticed because there was a serious lack of graphics to tell stories.
Why? The old layout is one reason. But a second reason is that Flikr is used by the CJs to upload their pictures. It imposes a creative commons agreement on photogs. I know that the photogs don't like it, have complained and been told CTDN doesn't care or won't change the method for uploading pictures.
In addition, once a photo is uploaded, it is often sized too small to view or even capture the attention of the reader; more poor decisions about layout.
When I look at other new media sites in other cities, I like to see the graphics they use to enhance stories. It isn't present at the CTDN and it should be.
This is all hidden from readers because you don't see the soft issues, by which I mean the software used for CJ and the internal politics of working with the CTDN. Also, Geoff Dougherty, bless his soul, has largely concentrated on hiring writers. I don't believe there is a single photog on the payroll. It is a real issue. Now the Sachs story has shown why the CTDN needs a better policy for photogs and a better means for uploading pictures.