Back in March, my Facebook group was infiltrated by a reporter looking for a story. This isn’t unusual. The group frequently sees reporters looking for a scoop or possibly new leads to do follow-up pieces on Neal Falls. I’ve worked with these people from the beginning. We’ve compared notes, shared stories and generally had a good working relationship. I allow my information on these cases — provided it isn’t something slanderous or information that should be passed on to police first — to be open to the public because I would genuinely like to see closure to these murder cases, regardless if it was Falls behind them or someone else.
This particular reporter was not like the other media professionals I have corresponded with through my group. She was pushy and rude to other group members and seemed to have absolutely no knowledge or interest in covering the story what-so-ever. Initially I agreed to speak with her, if for no other reason than to stop her from harassing my group members. She had no knowledge of my research or had even vetted me as a credible source of information, which was glaringly apparent from the beginning. She had nothing new to add to the story and essentially wanted me to go on the air and tell the entire story of Neal Falls for her because she was a lazy reporter who didn’t want to conduct her own research or read what information was already available through this blog, my group and other sources.
She wanted me to give out the personal information of people she could contact involved in these cases, which I flat out refused to do. She even wanted me to forward her information sent to me by the Charleston PD, which has already been provided on this blog and within my group. It took me no time to get in touch with Lt. Cooper when I began my research and he was willing to speak with me and send me a few things. Why did this person have such a hard time tracking him down or asking for the information directly from him?
Again, lazy reporting.
I’m a civilian without the leverage of a major news agency to back my research, so if I could find these people and even speak with a few of them, then someone working for an actual news source shouldn’t have too much of an issue. I told her she could call me if she wanted. I was already uninterested in the interview, because I felt that it was a waste of time and brought nothing new to the table, but at this point I was still willing to pass on some information and she could maybe get better sources for her story than some blogger/researcher. She wanted to Skype, but I often have trouble with my microphone.
By this time I was already tired of talking in circles with her. She didn’t seem to understand that she needed to follow some new leads if she wants to cover this story. I mentioned the unidentified skull in Nevada as well as the Texas murders, which she perceived as me wanting to go on air and talk about these cases. I don’t have that information, it was just a polite way for me to say that her story was completely lacking. I simply stopped corresponding with her and blocked her from the group.
Passive aggressive? Maybe.
I’m not hungry for media attention. I do this research because I’m interested in these cases. Maybe someday I’ll write a book, but as of this moment, the only profit I have made from any of this was the Sword and Scale story I broke related to Neal Falls. All of my research going forward has been completely without pay. I don’t even receive advertisement revenue for this blog. When I’m not working on this, I’m working on other stories I do for pay. Any journalist or writer can understand the amount of time it takes to research their stories and I simply do not have the time to take out of my day in order to talk to some lazy reporter.
I apologize for the long-winded rant, but I want it to be known that I have little tolerance for unethical, unprofessional assholes.