Dalton: Sentinel Uses Post Site As "Tip Sheet"

Just to rile things up a bit, here's the latest from "Ellen Dalton," a soldier on the Post side of the newspaper war sputtering along north of the border:

Have you noticed that the Palm Beach Post's Internet site has become the new "tip sheet" for the Sun-Sentinel?

Case in point: The Post posts a story about the Boynton Beach Police Department's investigation of "pay for play" allegations involving a city commissioner and a development company.

A few hours later, Sun-Sentinel.com posts a similar story.

This really helps one paper, especially when one newspaper is constantly following the other. (Out of simple respect, I won't name the paper that gets beaten all the

time in Palm Beach County. But they do have an office on Las Olas Boulvard and are prone to asking, "How can we help you?")

It also avoids the next morning's "follow up" story, the journalistic "walk of shame."

I think this would be an interesting discussion for your blog: As one paper (the Post) gets more aggressive about posting all sorts of what would traditionally be considered non-breaking news throughout the day, how ethical is it for the competition (the Sentinel) to use it as an all-day "tip sheet?"

The average reader, who probably doesn't compare the "posting times" on the competing papers' Web sites, probably never knows the difference -- especially when the lagging paper takes a tip from its competitor and then posts a similar story that says "New!" or "Updated". Well, it's only "new" if you haven't seen the competitor's Web site!

Ellen Dalton Greenacres, FL

Well, I don't know the origin of that particular story (here's the Sentinel's version). But this all fits into the Pulp's mission to get these kinds of issues out there and hash them out and let the truth emerge without my having to actually do any reporting or research on them.

(And any way you look at it, that's a damn fascinating situation in Boynton Beach.

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