Under the Radar The Sun-Times duplicates a freelancer’s little-noticed scoop
Come across a terrific news story these days and you’re all but certain to find somewhere to publish it—that is, if you stretch publishing to include posting it on a website few people have heard of and fewer read. That’s what Michael Volpe had to do with a story he thought would rock Chicago—a story about convicted city employees continuing to draw salaries. He’d hoped for better.
Last fall Volpe e-mailed his story to the Reader mailbox, which is a little like slipping it under the door. He didn’t get a reply. An editor at the Southtown Star said Volpe’s story happened outside his paper’s coverage area—but what about the Sun-Times? The Sun-Times said it didn’t buy stories from freelancers. Steve Rhodes at the Beachwood Reporter website told Volpe his story had holes that needed to be filled. Volpe argued the point, and Rhodes told him, “Your story does not meet our standards. Goodbye.”