Under the banner "Exclusive" (in print, but not on the Web) my local paper is trumpeting this morning that a man hit by a Highway Patrol squad car has sued in federal court,
But then there's this line:
Calvin Rucker, 25, said in the suit filed last month in U.S. District Court in Columbia ...
So let's see. If I read that right, the suit is at least eight days old, and probably more than that (the paper does not have the kahunas to say when it was actually filed - so much for editing).
This on a beat where the public records are pretty public and where it used to be that being even a couple of days behind on a major lawsuit was considered shameful. But how times have changed, eh? The reporter on this was tied up out of town at another trial last week, and the paper, racked by staff cuts, apparently doesn't have the forces to even make routine records checks. And, of course, there's little competition from broadcasters whose news shows otherwise are ripped from the police blotter.
Sounds like another business opportunity for someone equipped with a low-cost Internet space and a little free time.
As long as the effective motto is Yesterday's news tomorrow (or in this case, last month's news this month), there is no wonder as to why mainstream journalism is being relegated to an afterthought by more and more people.