First, apologies. I’m sure a lot of you who come to CHS for news and information about Capitol Hill could care very little about the business and journalism end of things. Indulge me. This, in the end, is about Capitol Hill and quality news and information in your community.
If anybody is wondering about the information gathering process behind Fisher Broadcasting’s attempt to build a network of Seattle neighborhood news sites, here is an example of what KOMO’s effort looks like.
At 12:58 PM Wednesday, CHS posted this reminder about this weekend’s Capitol Hill design charrette. It wasn’t an extraordinary post but in typical CHS form, I’ve attended two meetings about this event and will be there Saturday to cover and participate in it. The post was one of seven (counting this one) we published during the day. Here is the original article about the Saturday event we linked to from the reminder.
Meanwhile capitolhill.komonews.com had not been updated since Tuesday.
Then, at 4:39 PM, CHS got a very interesting visitor. An employee on the Fisher Broadcasting corporate network (IP: 188.8.131.52) came to our homepage. Here is that visitor’s activity log (Thanks getclicky.com! BTW, I named this IP address ‘Carson from KVI’ last summer after a producer I was working with for an appearance on Fisher’s talk radio station)
At 4:56 PM, he or she downloaded a PDF about the event that CHS received from the organizers.
Guess what happened nine minutes later.
At 5:05 PM, KOMO’s Capitol Hill site posted this, its first and only post of the day:
You don’t have to be furious. That’s my job. But I wouldn’t mind if you joined me in disappointment. We work hard at collecting useful community news and information here at CHS and everybody who participates in the site is a big part of that. There is room for a rich community of Capitol Hill sites producing original work. To see that work siphoned away in a few minutes of clicking, cutting and pasting is painful. To know how much effort Fisher is making to sell advertising on this kind of content — that’s where the fury comes from.
But if you’re still not feeling it, what if I tell you this? Wednesday was not the first time Fisher has done this. I sent an e-mail documenting similar actions by employees on Fisher Broadcasting’s corporate network to executive producer Kevin Cotlove on August 24th. Cotlove assured me that KOMO takes such accusations seriously.
So do I. I hope you will, too.
For another example of Fisher Broadcasting’s recent activities, check out this article on Central District News.