Trib Tears

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Some folks at the Great Falls Tribune really need to calm down. This was posted in a very public forum by a Tribune staffer, addressed to KRTV, in regards to this story about the grizzly bear that was captured near Simms last week:

Hey nice work on getting this from our website. Next time could you give the paper credit at least? Thanks!!

When I asked the person if he could clarify that statement, this response was posted:

You had “according to initial reports” which was the Tribune. “Initial reports indicate that it may be the bear responsible for killing several goats in the area earlier this week.” I didn’t write the story or edit it but one of our editors feels like you guys got it from us and is kinda annoyed. It’s nothing major, just we had a reporter who came in late to get the story, an editor who stayed late to edit it…and then it happened to be on your guys’s site in the morning. I mean, I dunno. Like I said, I haven’t been directly involved. I don’t think we mind you guys citing us, just maybe some credit given would be nice. I mean, I dunno. Like I said, I haven’t been directly involved. I don’t think we mind you guys citing us, just maybe some credit given would be nice. *shrugs* You guys do a good job with news and a lot of times break stuff before us. I’m not trying to trash ya, just forwarding something from one of my editors…maybe you could talk to her and explain what’s going on better than me.


First of all, the parts in bold were highlighted by me.

Second, I feel really bad that two Tribune people had to come in and/or work late on that story – quite a heavy burden!

Third, that story was delivered directly to KRTV by a photographer who was ACTUALLY AT THE SCENE when the bear was being inspected/tagged/etc by MT FWP officials. The person who took the photos shared them on the KRTV Facebook page BEFORE the Tribune had its story posted; the photog and I exchanged several messages so that I could gather more information, and then I added some information that we received earlier in the week from FWP. Voila: a brief web story about the grizzly bear captured near Simms.

About 10 minutes after I posted the story (and waaaah, I had to do it after hours, just like the poor Trib staffers), I checked the Tribune website, and sure enough, they had it posted too.

So what did I do? First, I complained to my co-workers that the Tribune had taken my story, and then I got angry that they used some of the very same words in their reporting that I did, and then I implied in public that THEY actually stole MY story!

No, wait – I didn’t do that.



  1. I personally think the Trib employee needs to read the writing on the wall and realize that print media is a dying medium.

    Or perhaps this person has realized it and it is affecting their outlook on their job.

  2. Right. Because “according to initial reports” is such original verbiage for news… ha ha How could it be anything but a “sticky fingered” plagiarist?

  3. Not for nothing, but a few months ago, I got a call asking if I wanted the paper. I said No, that I really could not afford it (true story). The caller said that they could send me only the Sunday edition for a few weeks, and that I could cancel if I still didn’t like it. Fair enough, so I said yes. Three weeks after that call, still no Sunday Paper. I called their customer support line and it seemed to me that I was talking to a call center far removed from Great Falls. I was very explicit and to the point that I wanted to cancel the offer, as I was not getting the paper. I was also explicit that I would not pay the bill for that offer. The person on the phone confirmed that my subscription was cancelled. The only thing? I am now religiously (no pun intended) getting the Sunday paper, placed ever-so-neatly centered on my door-step, and *NO BILL* I am wondering if I should tell them that they can stop delivering now, or enjoy the apparent freebie?

  4. We used to get the “e-paper” until they called me a couple of weeks ago, telling me that they could no longer directly draw from my checking account and would need a credit or debit card. I flatly told them to cancel my account. Since then, I’ve been receiving a morning email with four or five headlines with links to the online version. Despite numerous requests to remove me from the distribution, I’m still getting them. *ACK*

  5. When I read the response from the Tribune person, all I could do was correct the poor grammar in my head. I don’t usually do that unless I am grading papers (I’m a teacher). I would not expect all of the slang verbage and errors from a professional journalist. If words are your medium, then pay attention to what you write! Also, I feel like this person is using his/her editor as the scapegoat. Keep doing your thing, KRTV.

  6. Aw, thanks Carli! And I take great pride in keeping the most error-free news source in Montana, when it comes to grammar, spelling, etc!

  7. The Tribune is a rag. Haven’t subscribed to it in over ten years. When I first moved to Great Falls in the late 90s, I did subscribe. After a year of reading a load of editorial BS, poor reporting, bad grammar, I cancelled. The Trib called me and wanted to know what they had to do to get me back as a customer. I told them they should pay me to read their rag. Haven’t heard from them since.

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