Better late than never, I suppose…
That’s one way to look at yesterday’s front-page, upper right-hand story in the Star by Mike Hendricks.
"Drug of Choice For Kids Is Pot," reads the headline. "Use of alcohol and tobacco drops, but high school seniors’ daily marijuana use hits a 30-year peak."
However the story – masquerading as breaking news – was little more than a ginned up rehash of a month-old report widely covered by other news media around the country early last month.
For example, "Teen drinking, smoking continue to decline, but pot use is up," reads a Los Angeles Times headline covering the same report cited by Hendricks.
The key difference being the Times story ran in a timely manner on December 15th.
The day after the report was released.
Hendricks localized the story somewhat by dressing it up with quotes from local educators, a couple unnamed colleges kids and a bit of "social media" by touching on a little known group called "Show Me Cannabis Regulation" with a Facebook page with only 2,554 "likes".
The fact remaining that what the Star trotted out as front page news – that teens are smoking more pot – wasmonth old news.
A story that had been reported weeks ago by dozens of newspapers, television stations and bloggers – everyone from the Washington Post, Time Magazine and Fox News to the Huffinton Post, Christian Science Monitor and Kalamazoo Gazette.
The question being, why should Kansas Citians pay to read month old news stories and be last to know?