Six months ago The Stranger broke the biggest local story of the year: The Seattle Times was moving to dissolve its 20-year-old Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a move that could make Seattle a one-daily town. A week later the Seattle Weekly played catch-up on the story--covering the exact same ground as Stranger reporter Sandeep Kaushik while failing to credit The Stranger for the scoop.

This makes Weekly editor Skip Berger's April 23 column about the Times' failure to adequately acknowledge the Weekly's original coverage of the mess over at KCTS seem a little hypocritical--a lot hypocritical, actually. Seattle is a weird media town. Sometimes Seattle papers don't even cover stories other papers break, or when they do, they don't credit other papers with breaking the story. In other large American cities--real media towns--papers write about, slam, and credit each other routinely.

But in Seattle, papers pretend they're the only gig in town--and the Weekly isn't in a good position to bitch about it. In addition to the JOA story, The Stranger scooped the Weekly outright (and the dailies) on a host of other issues in the last 12 months, from Josh Feit correctly predicting the city council's anti Gary Zarker vote, to the city council's giveaway to downtown developer Richard Hedreen, not to mention Cathy Allen's conflict-of-interest-a-thon "workshop" with city council members, Margaret Pageler applying for the top job at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Ed Murray backpedaling on Sound Transit reform, and on and on. To paraphrase Berger, we beat 'em badly on major story after major story. Some stories the Weekly ignored; others the Weekly covered without acknowledging the Stranger.

In one particularly egregious example, Stranger neighborhood reporter Amy Jenniges wrote a March 21, 2002 story about African Americans leaving Seattle. On January 22, 2003, a similar story--with the same lead!--was splashed all over the Weekly's cover. Berger complains that his paper is "often... the unacknowledged source of stories churned out by... competitors." The Stranger knows just how you feel, Skip.