Friday, September 12, 2014

The Shoals Insider & Busted N the Shoals

First: Attention Colbert County. There will be an important announcement coming for all Colbert Citizens no later than Monday. It's going to be a whole new ball game in one election!


When the Shoals Insider came on the local scene around 2006 or 2007, there had previously been nothing like it in the area. The SI was begun by a local man using the pen name Larry Baker; I know his identity, but Shoalanda wouldn’t want it published it here.

The SI created quite a sensation and for a while flourished. For whatever reason, posts slackened and never picked up. Some days, the site was down altogether due to non-payment of site hosting. Two individuals who at one time helped blog here decided to start up a real online news magazine. Pen N Sword debuted and a short time later, another enterprising pair began the Quad Cities Daily, an online daily newspaper. Perhaps Mr. Baker saw the handwriting on the wall and his site went months without new posts.

Finally, a local writer who sometimes worked with Baker began making a few posts a week, most culled from WAFF News which the SI called a “partner.” As I’m typing this, the SI site is down. So why am I writing this?

Shoalanda has previously done a blog on the site Busted N the Shoals stealing material from the QCD in the form of mug shots for which the QCD had paid and enhanced and...watermarked. Yes, the QCD watermark was even left intact when Busted published the mugshots. Lazy or just didn’t care?

A few days ago we read a PNS article on a local woman who had at one time been on the area’s most wanted list. The young woman had been encouraged by her family to turn herself in; in fact, the family had given PNS an exclusive in hope of finding their daughter.

Now the young woman is on the ropes again and facing serious charges. PNS apparently had discarded their original article, but went to Busted to retrieve their copy. Why? You guessed it. Busted had stolen their original article word for word. 

How is this relevant to SI? It seems Busted also calls itself a “partner” to WAFF. Hmm.

You might not like what you read on Shoalanda, or PNS, or the QCD, but except for the common press releases, all material is composed by us, all of whom are such excellent writers we don’t need to steal. Ahem!

While I’m on the subject, and while Shoalanda has already felt a disturbance in the force, I’ll relate another little story about the Shoals Insider. A few years ago, a local man was arrested for what I’ll just call disorderly conduct. The SI was the first to report on the arrest and went into detail to add that the man, quite in his cups, had exposed himself to children.

The next day, the story was picked up by WAFF (SI’s news partner?). There was a little added, but the details about the indecent exposure were taken almost verbatim from SI. The next day, Shoalanda mentioned the incident. I’m sure she fully believed since WAFF had reported facts gathered from the incident report and not just taken the SI article at face value.

A few months pass, and the arrested man hires an attorney. The original report does not mention any indecent exposure. Both WAFF and Shoalanda removed their articles. The Shoals Insider? The article was still up the last time I looked. Since this is a blog, there’s no real “journalism” involved, but I know WAFF obviously practices a high degree of journalistic responsibility. So why didn’t the SI remove the article when it was pointed out that most of it wasn’t true? I sense a personal vendetta.


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