On the same day the Strib announced it was pushing 145 employees out the door, including 50 from its newsroom, the daily also provided a glimpse how its newsgathering operation would compensate: by borrowing reporting from City Pages.
How else to explain the Xerox-like similarity between the Strib's lurking article, headlined "Lurking law comes out in the open," and our own lurking piece, published February 28 and headlined, "What Lurks Beneath?"
Although it's not uncommon for news outlets to use each other as inspiration—the Strib has to put up with the TV news stations' "rip and read" journalism on an almost daily basis—it's another thing entirely to see a story reproduced practically verbatim.
Let us compare:
|CP's article begins with Lance Handy describing how he was accused of lurking after buying a back of cigarettes||The Strib's article begins with Lance Handy describing how he was accused of lurking after buying a back of cigarettes|
|CP's article: "Critics say a Minneapolis law criminalizes walking while black."||The Strib's article includes a quote from a critic saying, "Is it walking while black?"|
|CP: "Of the 103 people charged with lurking who were homeless, all were African American..."||Strib: "And of the 103 homeless people arrested under the ordinance, all were black..."|
|CP quotes City Council President Barbara Johnson defending the lurking ordinance: "I wouldn't want to throw out a useful tool..."||Strib: "... key City Council members—such as Council President Barbara Johnson—say it's an important tool ..."|
|CP's article ends with Lance Handy criticizing the lurking ordinance.||Strib's article ends with Lance Handy criticizing the lurking ordinance.|
Too bad city council can't do anything about the Strib lurking in our archive.