Hearne: 610 Sports Nick Wright, Star Editor Bust Blogger for Journalistic Missteps

There’s a difference between news sources and news stories…

Between tweeting rumors to a handful of people and gathering facts and reporting a story through a major media outlet to a large audience. Anyone can tweet a rumor. Running down the story and reporting it responsibly is an entirely different animal.

So it is that 610 Sports host Nick Wright took umbrage at being called out by local sports blogger Greg Hall.

"Nick Wright Claims Chiefs Scoop That Was Not His To Claim And He Knew It," Hall’s headline reads.

Three problems…

First, Hall assumed Wright had read a barebones tweet last week from a local with fewer than 40 followers.

Had Hall checked with Wright, he’d have learned that Wright had been on the air for 12 hours raising more than $170,000 for a Salvation Army children’s shelter and had not read through the nearly 500 tweets he received that day.

"The truth is had I seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it," Wright says. "Do you know how many random tweets I get?"

Second, Wright’s reporting on the fight between the Chiefs No. 1 draft and another player included far more information than the local’s tweet which merely mentioned that there’d been a fight.

Third, even if the local’s tip had been Wright’s source, there’s a vast difference between being a source and the journalist who breaks the story. Anybody think Deep Throat broke Watergate, not Woodward, Berstein and The Washington Post?

"When Bob Lewellen told me that the City Council finance committee had a secret meeting and I wrote the story, it was my scoop, not Bob Lewellen’s," explains retired Star editor Jim Fitzpatrick. "I guess we’re down to man-on-the-street scoops. Under Greg’s philosophy. If you whisper it, that’s where it was said first and by God it’s your story."

Tweeting to a handful of friends and tipping off someone in the media does not the breaker of a news story make, Fitzpatrick stresses.

"It’s not a story until it’s promulgated before the general public," Fitz adds. "A rumor among friends does not qualify as a scoop or story in the public arena."

The bottom line?

"It was Wright’s story; he was the one who put the story out for the general public," Fitzpatrick says. "The tipster had neither the capacity or opportunity to promulgate the story to the general public. Therefore it’s not a story until it’s in the media – that’s where you have scoops – in the media."

Which is not to downplay the growing role of social media.

But there’s obviously a difference between Wright’s 10,000 Twitter followers, for example, and a dude with less than half a hundred. Just as there’s a difference between a skeletal mention of a fight and pinning down the full story with confirmation by mulitple sources in the Chiefs organization.

Which is what Wright secured before going public with his story ahead of the rest of the local sports media.

"It sounds an awful lot like Greg has an axe to grind against Nick and he didn’t want to hear the other side," Fitzpatrick says. "And he’s just nitpicking this story to get at Nick for one reason or another."

Hear Wright and Hall duke it out @ 2:45 P.M. TODAY on Wright’s show on 610 Sports

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37 Responses to Hearne: 610 Sports Nick Wright, Star Editor Bust Blogger for Journalistic Missteps

  1. Respectfully says:

    With All Due Respect
    Hearne, I respectfully submit that you aren’t even reporting a third of the story on this one. If it’s a strategy to stroke Nick Wright and fire back against a former employee than I understand but the people who followed this story so far can see the very wide holes in your logic.

    What Nick Wright did was ignore the work of Arrowhead Pride and their legion of fans who are just as numerous as his own. They have a comparable 8,000 fans to Nick’s 10,000 but their network on the website is probably larger than Nick’s listening audience and they were simply the first to report this story and link the tweet in question. Reporting without mentioning Arrowhead Pride is just regurgitating Nick’s part of the story without looking at all the facts. A simple Google search would have better informed even a casual reader on this situation.

  2. Jim says:

    Who the fuck cares?!
    Do you “journalists” think that anyone outside the circle of your journalist, blogger, et al friends gives 2 shits about who broke a story? Let me assure you. We don’t!! Radio pukes and TV talking heads love to pat each other on the back and congratulate one another for “breaking” a story. The public doesn’t freaking care! Has anyone EVER said to another friend, “Did you see who broke that story?” If you answer that question in the affirmative, you are more out of touch that I thought. Get over yourselves. 30 seconds after anyone “breaks” a story, you can google it and get 10,000 hits for the same damn story. Doing ti FIRST when you are stepping on the moon, flying across the Atlantic or discovering the Titanic wreckage is important. Reporting a story 15 seconds before someone else falls into the yeah-yeah-big-fucking-deal category.

  3. kcredsox says:

    Child’s Play
    Kind of reminds ya of high school, huh Jim. When this all went down I was thinking the same thing as you Jim. Then all of Nick’s cohorts starting tweeting about this being the biggest story in KC. Locker room fights happen all the time, this one just happens to end up in an injury, and its the biggest scoop in KC so far this season? Really? Greg should have just let these blathering idiots continue to make themselves look silly by themselves. But, since he didn’t, check out 610 at 2:45 today to hear Greg trash poor Nicky’s self esteem.

  4. Markus Aurelius says:

    Respectfully hit the nail on the head.
    First, Hearne, your inability to report stories about either Nick or Louie Wright fully and accurately should be embarrassing to you and insulting to the reader. Second, you old time journalists still don’t get it. With a blog you’re less old-fashioned than many, but you still don’t include hyperlinks to attribute credit to other stories, which is pretty much SOP in today’s new media. With regard to this “story” you don’t get it because there is NO distinction between what a Chiefs fan and insider tweets to his followers versus what a local sports radio jockey reports to his followers. Once the story is out for public consumption the story is “broken.” You’re deviating from the original complaint by people on Twitter and by Greg Hall in his column. Nick, and the rest of the 610 crew, claimed to have broken the story. What they could have claimed was that they were the first local sports radio station to report it on the air but they didn’t break the story any more than the NY TImes can break a story that was previously reported in the Kingman Leader Courier out of Kingman, KS. Third, you and the rest of the media (Nick and Greg both included) don’t get that the consuming public could care less about who retweets a story first, or even who puts it on the air first. Just get the story right. In this instance, you did not.

  5. Ross says:

    Can’t Wait!
    I, for one, can’t wait for Hearne and Glazer to finally have their falling out so Hearne can start throwing him under the bus too. Should be good for about four poorly sourced articles a day over the first few weeks.

  6. Robertoe says:

    Patience, underlings!
    “…but you still don’t include hyperlinks to attribute credit to other stories, which is pretty much SOP in today’s new media. ”

    Markus, You are too tough on Hearne. I can remember reading on here a month-plus ago that hypertext hotlinking was going to be his top IT objective!!!! He had already given IT instructions to get on it!!!!!! I expect you’ll see advances along these lines come the KCC xmas party time frame (but probably not actual hotlinks by that breakneck clip) And I heard a rumor that picture captions and bios would be here b4 xmas party 2012! This online social media shit unfolds at head spinning lighting quick speeds!

  7. Cody says:

    Journalistic Missteps
    People that live in glass houses should not throw stones, lol This “blog” is the best of the best when it comes to trainwreck writing and reporting. The ego stroking, vendetas and overall general feeling of being out of touch have made this site comic gold….Way better than anything passing through Stanford and Sons.

    Keep up the great work this website gives me a great laugh at work everyday and only getting better…

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Nice try but wrong.

    Arrowhead Pride picked up on this after the fact and Nick tweeted an acknowledgement of what it “reported.”

    Has nothing to do with the situation.

    Greg is a friend of mine, but friends make mistakes. We all do. This is about two plus two not equaling five. If you’re going to drop the hammer on somebody and you don’t call to check their side of the story you risk making an error, and that’s what happened here.

    Sources don’t break stories, dude. Sources provide tips and information to media that do. Very simple. And he wasn’t even Nick’s source.

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    Hey, I didn’t write the “Nick didn’t break the story” story.

    Just reporting what happened behind the scenes.

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Sorry, but it’s not high school. This was a huge story and there’s not a major media alive from CNN to the Wall Street Journal that doesn’t take some measure of pride in breaking a big one.

    Call it the human condition.

    You want high school? How about entire cities getting excited about a buncha dudes that aren’t even from there winning a baseball, football or basketball game.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    I addressed the social media aspect of this, Markus.

    What you fail to realize is that even in the new landscape journalism still exists. And tweeting an unsubstantiated factoid to 20-some odd friends is not the equivalent to running down the full story and reporting it to tens of thousands of people.

    Tens of thousands.

    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it really fall? Yes. But that hardly makes the case that a dude with an unsubstantiated tip, using a fake name and photo to a couple dozen of his friends “broke” a story.

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    That is partially correct, I’ve asked our IT dude to make the links in comments live.

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Happy to oblige your gutless, anonymous self!

  14. Cody says:

    Anoymous
    Sorry not to properly introduce myself..My name is Cody from Lee’s Summit..I’m mainly known in KC on multiple sports boards through my handle codylshs00.

    I’m not a journalism major but I do know that the golden rule in journalism is to be objective (which has been forgotten for a long time) and this is blog is more of a column and you are welcome to your own thoughts like anyone is…but it comes across so strong to the average reader (even before you read the story) that if its about 610 or Nick Wright it is going to be nothing more than a plug and an ego stroke to Nick. The reader knows you like Nick (for some reason) but to just beat it in the ground once a week gets old and almost desperate. Almost like a teenage girl with a Bieber crush.

    Also can you honestly say with a straight face Craig Glazer has any business writing about sports? lol It is a trainwreck times 100000

    Just my two cents on this blog..It does have a lot of good things working for it but the things I would change if it was me…Since your friends with Nick obviously (even though he doesn’t know as much about sports as he thinks he does) have him write the sports columns..Glazer is brutal at it putting it nicely…but he is great with his other stories…I think one of the best parts of this blog over time have been his old stories and he does that really well…just not sports related, lol

  15. Bill says:

    Half a hundred followers…
    Last I checked Greg had over 1,100 followers. Is it 10,000? Nope. Still pretty good for someone who runs a blog. Also, while White Mamba tweeted something for his 20 followers, he also included Nick in on the tweet, so Nick did see it, as he admitted later in the day. I guess it just comes down to who you trust in this case. Do you believe Nick did not see the tweet at him until late in the afternoon Friday, or do you believe he saw the tweet and then texted 10 of his Chiefs sources and players on the team to confirm it Thursday night and getting second sourcing on it early Friday when he broke the story.

    It would be easy for someone who is trying to continue to make headway against 810 to claim innocence against a guy who has only 20 followers and gets 100s of 1000s of retweets and questions a day.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    It’s not wrong to be suspicious or question Nick, Bill.

    I’m going to lay down the show Nick did yesterday that most people probably missed. When you get 500 tweets a day, probably dozens to hundreds of emails and gosh knows how many phone calls and texts you don’t always read every tweet as it comes in.

    Thw tweet did not rise to the level of being news because it was from someone identifying themselves as “john Doe” with a one liner about a fight. Nick had already said on the air during the 12 hour telethon that he would look into what happened the next day.

    Which he did. He got THE FULL STORY, not the four or five word tweet, then CONFIRMED IT with two Chiefs sources.

    Having done so he then reported the full story.

    But even if he’s seen the tweet before he did his investigation, it would have been nothing more than a very vague news tip that he then followed up and, reported out and then broke to thousands of people.

    To lay people, maybe they don’t get it. But telling your friends is not breaking a story. You don’t think a buncha Chiefs players and staff probably texted their friends about it too?

  17. Hearne Christopher says:

    Thanks Cody, I know your comments are sincere.

    But making statements about me being friends with Nick obviously provide a textbook example of why making statements without checking facts can get you in trouble and make you look foolish.

    Like it did to Greg in this instance.

    I have never so much as laid eyes on Nick Wright. Barely heard him on the radio. Actually, I’ve listened to him more on his podcasts while researching stories more than his live show.

    We have no relationship or mutual friends that I know of.

    Now allow me to put the shoe you want to put on my foot on yours.

    You “obviously” have some sort of high school, catty jealousy of Nick. But go ahead and vent it, I’m here for you.

  18. Robertoe says:

    partially correct?
    “Reply From: Hearne Christopher
    10:15:48 AM – Wed. Aug 24. 2011

    That is partially correct, I’ve asked our IT dude to make the links in comments live.”

    If you are only doing hypertext links in the comments section, you are the one who is partially correct. Hesus Christo. This isn’t that complex. In fact here’s a challenge. Get us access to your source code, and Debbie ‘Lightweight’ Mermaid could get the job done in 2 days.

  19. kcredsox says:

    Correct Story
    Hearne, since you claim Nick had sources and told the correct story, I think you are sorely misinformed. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Nick said that Baldwin broke his wrist, when in reality it was his thumb.

  20. Rick says:

    MEOW
    cat fight

  21. smartman says:

    When is a Wright not a Wrong?
    Nick Wrights gonna have to morph from Wigger to Octopus to deal with the number of times his ass has been handed to him.

  22. shecky o'malley says:

    Ouch…
    and I thought Whitlock destroyed Nick. This was brutal. I honestly didn’t think Hall had it in him. Nick needs to stick to guys in his own league.

  23. Lee says:

    Wright vs Hall
    Thanks for the heads-up on Hall being on 610. I read it just as the segment started and listened. It was a very entertaining segment with lots of blows landed but no knockouts. I don’t recall hearing Hall on radio before but someone with balls should sign him up for a regular spot on radio, That guy can dish it out and fire back. Wright should have had him on for longer.

    My only comment is Wright claiming Hall has it in for him. I find Hall’s comments to be an equal opportunity critique of everyone. If anything, I think he has been harder on Keitzman’s schtik.

  24. smartman says:

    Wright Gets OverHALLed
    Once again Nick The Shituation Wright has an interview where the guest totally takes control out of his hands.

    He is an awful interviewer. He was totally unprepared. It’s clear he never took a debate class at Barstow or Syracuse.

    Hopefully Wright V Botello will be more entertaining.

  25. PeteyPablo says:

    hearne–Was I dreaming or had you posted another a later piece on Wright and Hall that is now gone????

  26. Rick says:

    Petey U R
    not mistaken. My guess is Nick made him take it down because the quotes weren’t exact. Actually u could tell be the piece that hearne was still working on it so my guess is he wanted to complete it before posting.

  27. Hearne Christopher says:

    Did you listen to his show yesterday?

  28. hearne says:

    Well, you’re both right – kinda…
    Was outta pocket this afternoon and wanted to get the transcript of yesterday’s show where Wright laid out his defense and response to the accusations before the 2:45 p.m. confrontation show today.

    Which I did…only to have our editorial system erase 3/4 of the story, the art and the edit and take it back to drafts form. So I killed off another hour plus and get it back together, posted it and…

    Whammo!

    The system killed it again. Left a small portion of it online. Then took it back to drafts again.

    All while I was innocently driving back home.

    Now I have the esteemed pleasure of saddling back up, spending another hour-plus and re-posting it.

    That is, if I don’t commit suicide first.

    How’s that for candor?

  29. Hearne Christopher says:

    He’s hard on both, you’re right.

    But I think he’s made his feelings clear on Nick. And by the way, he definitely dislikes Keitzman.

  30. Hearne Christopher says:

    Didn’t listen yet but heard that Greg talked over him.

    Fitz gave Greg an 8.5 and Nick a 7. But says the main journalistic points about sources and how news stories are broken got lost in the shuffle.

  31. Hearne Christopher says:

    Long as his ratings remain, he’ll probably be OK. How long have people been bagging on KK?

  32. PeteyPablo says:

    Ghosts in the Machine
    Thanks Hearne. That’s good to know. I thought I’d went nuts. Good luck with your suicide and/or reposting…whichever.

  33. LA says:

    Missing the Story????
    Hearne, your column seems focused on journalistic missteps (headline) and news sources/news stories (first sentence). You appear to be getting defensive about what is a journalist and what isn

  34. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’m afraid you already missed that one, wild man.

    Unless you’re planning on sitting in on the trial with the other Wright

  35. Hearne Christopher says:

    Lightweigh, huh?

  36. Hearne Christopher says:

    Thanks, LA,

    And by the way, how much do I owe you for all the diamond-shaped question marks?

    I’m familiar with the “war” Wrote about it a couple times. Think it’s a bit exaggerated but maybe it’s just because every single competing radio station in town is always at war. To me when the stations were fighting, hating and stealing one another’s air talent, that was war.

    While 610’s ratings rise makes things more interesting, I think that a lot of the war hype was killing time until Royals season was more-or-less out of the way. Which now it is.

    Not sure this dealie was war though. I just think Greg made a mistake by confusing an anonymous source with a news source. Anonymous sources reaching out to 20 or 30 people with a rumor don’t break stories. They provide impetus for someone else to do the hard work, flesh out the story and report it to tens of thousands of people.

    That’s breaking a story.

    You wanna teach me how to imbed those question marks now?

  37. Pissoff says:

    Boring
    Who gives three shits.

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