La Presse scored the jackpot in Friday’s paper when it combined the four things that journalists and their bosses have wet dreams about:
- A scoop, a story that nobody else has
- A story filled with anonymous sources about a crime boss/drug lord/mafia king
- A story about a celebrity scandal
- A story about the Canadiens
The news dominated coverage yesterday and today, even as everyone was talking about Alex Kovalev’s performance problems.
Part of that was because of La Presse, whose hockey analysts were dropping hints on every TV sports show they could find Thursday night to say that a huge scoop would appear in the next day’s paper.
The various news sources did all they could to try and match La Presse’s story before it came out, but couldn’t gather enough before publication to put it all together. So while most just waited until it was out and summarized La Presse’s story or re-researched it, Quebecor-owned 24 Heures put out its exclusive story that four Canadiens players had been arrested.
The story, still available in the Google cache, by reporter Maxime Deland, quotes a single anonymous source “very close” to the Canadiens saying four players had been arrested on Thursday night on their return from Pittsburgh.
Of course, no such thing happened, so 24 Heures deleted the story. I found no correction on their website, and the story was not in Friday’s edition of the paper.
The story has gotten so big now we have the second (third?) day stories about whether the media is blowing this out of proportion. This piece at Fanatique summarizes the timeline of stories from the various news outlets, while Yves Boisvert, Patrick Lagacé and Mike Boone defend the media’s insane interest in the Canadiens as a mere reflection of what the fans want to read.
UPDATE (Feb. 26): Pierre Trudel says La Presse did a good job with its scoop… in an article in La Presse.