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Thursday, March 22, 2007

associated press ripoff

Well, no word back from Barry Massey in the SF AP bureau on the way they hacked the Journal story and left out crediting SFR for its work on Wexford.

For the record, here's an email I sent to Barry Massey in December, to which I never received a reply:

Dec. 13
Hi Barry,
I wanted to follow up on the conversation we had at the governor's wing ding last week. As I mentioned, SFR has conducted a five-month (and still ongoing) investigation into Wexford Health Sources, the private contractor that runs health care in the state prisons. As a result of our reporting, the legislative courts and corrections committee ordered an audit into Wexford and the Department of Corrections.
Today, SFR has an exclusive on the governor's decision to end Wexford's contract. The governor's office cites our series as the catalyst for this decision. We are, as yet, the only media out to report on the problems with Wexford and our story today on the governor's decision has yet to be reported elsewhere (except by Joe Monahan, citing our story).
I hope, Barry, you will pick this up for the wires and credit SFR appropriately. As you know, we are a small paper with limited resources. We have been, nonetheless, able to make a pretty huge impact with this series. You can find the entire series on our website ( by searching "Wexford." Here is the link to today's exclusive about the governor's decision:
Please feel free to call me on my cell if you have any questions: [phone number edited out]

Julia Goldberg

Here's the email I sent him yesterday:
Dear Barry,
I hope you will find a way to redress what I consider to be inappropriate exclusion of SFR's role in the Wexford Health Sources story produced by the AP. (below). It has been widely acknowledged by numerous public officials and The Columbia Journalism Review, that SFR's six-month series was integral in the ending of Wexford's contract with the state. Even The Albuquerque Journal acknowledged this fact in its report. However, the AP story being run by The Santa Fe New Mexican does not. I do not know if that was edited out by AP or by The New Mexican, but I would appreciate clarification.
link to New Mex online story, with comment from New Mex web editor that the edit was the AP's, not the New Mex.

So, dear readers, we now can see that the AP was well aware, assuming Barry even reads his emails, of our work on this topic. In fact, when he and I talked at the guv's mansion, he acknowledged that the AP hadn't been doing much work on Corrections news and ENCOURAGED me to write him with our story.
As those who read this blog know, I've been doggedly tracking anyone and everyone on this story, but to this day the only reporter who ever wrote me back was Mike Gallagher at the Journal, who wrote me a rather irritated note when I contacted him to say I'd heard he was working on prison health care issues and wanted him to be aware of our work on the topic. But irritated or not, Mr. Gallagher quite ethically and appropriately cited our work in his story, (although he really should have noted that Guv Richardson cited our series as the reason for ending Wexford's contract).
As far as I can tell, the AP has no ombudsman to whom I might complain, so perhaps all I can do is complain here. Or maybe not. We'll see.