Scott Tibbs
blog post
September 21st, 2004

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The Herald-Times: inept as always.

Chris Crabtree has a great post here about the Herald-Times's sluggish news reporting. Crabtree had posted an opinion on State Rep. Peggy Welch's decision to decline a debate on the IU campus with challenger Paul Hager. The H-T ran their own story on Saturday, two days after Crabtree's post, despite the fact that they got the news release on Thursday.

This is not just a one-time lapse on the H-T's part. It often seems that the H-T does not know what is going on in Bloomington and monroe County unless someone drops a story in their lap. They are simply not good at investigative journalism.

The Herald-Times never did report on the controversy surrounding the big limestone sign on Tapp Road. They ignored a significant statement made by a local tree-sitter on Fox News.

The H-T was scooped on two big stories in one week in April, first on the latest "dorm porn" controversy at Indiana University and then on IU being named the #1 campus in the nation for wireless Internet access. The H-T did not even know about a dead cat being left in a paper bag outside of the County Commissioner's office until one of their reporters read about it on the Bloomington Alternative. One of the biggest scoops in recent memory was when the student newspaper ran a story in 1999 about a candidate for Mayor dropping out of the race a full day before it finally made the H-T.

The major exception to all of this is Katy Murphy, who puts a lot of research into her articles and is arguably the best reporter the H-T has. Murphy quite literally took one for the team earlier this year when she allowed herself to be shocked with a Taser for an article on the effects of the weapon. One does not need to subject themselves to severe electric shock to be a good journalist, but if the rest of the H-T staff would do their homework like Murphy does, the H-T would be a much better paper.