Just a quick note on competition in reporting Racine's news. We're in a really interesting race with the JT to report on the city.
The Uptown sculpture is a good example. We reported on the sculpture June 4 and the JT came back with a story today revealing the sculpture cost $40,000 (we had incorrectly reported it was donated to the city). Now we've responded with the latest story providing some background on the Uptown artist program and reporting at least one alderman is upset at the total cost.
That's the great thing about competition in the news business. Nobody ever gets the whole story the first time around. The back-and-forth of competing stories shakes out new information. It also keeps everyone honest. It's hardly a coincidence that newsroom hiring at the JT is at record highs as RacinePost and other local websites develop into a real threat to their business.
The downside for us is we liberally link to the JT and credit them for work. On the flip side, the JT never acknowledges our work despite liberally stealing our stories. Not that we blame them, but it's an interesting wrinkle in the debate over whether newspapers are fairly compensated for their stories. Newspapers claim their value is deteriorating because outside sites are linking to them (that's why there's all this chatter about charging for online news), but it's our experience that it's newspapers that steal work without so much as a link back to the original story.
Not that any of this matters to readers. Hopefully, the competition between RacinePost and the JT results in better information, coverage and insights into our community. That's certainly our goal, and hopefully that goal rubs off on our local newspaper as well.