Over the past six months, we’ve been expanding our collaborative outlets with newsrooms around the country. Recently, we were notified that one of those efforts we supported with training, FOI assistance, and a reporting stipend, a report on policing by the Chicago Crusader, was almost entirely lifted from other outlets as well as existing quoted material available online.
The Crusader has retracted the story and we are working with them to understand the issues that led to this breach of trust and take corrective action.
MuckRock’s mission is to use transparency and data to support original reporting and inform communities, and our internal guides and processes always strive to credit publications and individuals, particularly with local independent media that serves such an outsized importance in creating an informed public.
The story largely lifted from Jim Daley’s article for the South Side Weekly, “Lightfoot Quietly Lobbied for Qualified Immunity,” but also pulled from reporting from Matt Masterson at WTTW and Heather Cherone writing for The Daily Line.
I apologize to those reporters and publications whose hard work was misappropriated. We are also reviewing our own processes, particularly as we continue to invest in a more collaborative, open future for journalism, to ensure that the basic standards of transparency, trust, and attribution are upheld going forward.