Last weekend, I posted a rant, raising the question of "transparency" between anonymous (or kinda, sorta anonymous) bloggers like me and traditional news organizations like the Contra Costa Times. I was concerned that the Contra Costa Times has published a story about the theft of the flag of mainland China which had been flying in front of OI-C Bowl Chinese Kitchen and Bar on Walnut Creek's North Main Street.
The Times story was based on original reporting from its cops reporter, Roman Gokhman. However, Gokhman left out what could be a key piece of this story. It is that this theft follows a blog I posted on the flag on March 24. As the Mayor of Claycord said in his own post about the flag theft: "The Times actually wrote the story about the theft of the flag, but for some reason, gave no mention of 'Soccer Mom's' recent article, which was probably the entire reason for the theft."
In my Crazy way--I was living up to my moniker--I called the night editor, and e-mailed Gokhman, and some of his other editors. Actually Gokhman got back to me last Monday. Sorry to Gokhman for not posting his response earlier. I was trying to figure out if I should do it as a separate story or as an update. And then things got hectic at work and at home ... And ny DSL has been blinking out...
Yeah, yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses.
Anyway, Gokhman said he wrote about the theft of the flag "because both police and an editor thought it was noteworthy, not because you had written about the complaint to your Web site two weeks earlier." He said he figured the complaint the restaurant received may have been prompted by my story, "but that did not figure into my story or my research."
It sounds reasonable that Gokhman wasn't aware of my post about the flag flying in front of the restaurant--and the pro and con comments it aroused. The owner of the restaurant told me she wasn't aware of my blog. So, she wouldn't have told him when he interviewed her.
Anyway, I told Gokhman that I was sorry I came on rather forcefully in my e-mail. But I'm kinda "crazy" sometimes, right? I also told him that, as much as I sometimes complain about the individual ways the Times handles certain stories, I still support the newspaper's need to exist and for its reporters and editors to continue to work.