Friday, July 13, 2007

Ace TV Reporter Fired For Trying To Splash The Big Story

Chicago’s WMAQ-TV fired an enterprising investigative reporter for crossing those vague and ambiguous journalist's lines in pursuit of a story. TV stations want the ratings for their very survival and sometimes put incredible pressure on reporters to come back with real news.

A salacious and big story in the Chicago area is that of missing Plainfield women, Lisa Stebic, a mother of two. Plainfield police zeroed in on the “usual suspect”, Craig Stebic the estranged soon to be divorced husband of the woman. Police just don’t have either probable cause to arrest anyone or the body of the missing woman, yet. There’s little doubt that this is a sensational tale of domestic intrigue and murder.

These cases are broken through the words and behavior of the suspects. Keeping your target nervous and talking nearly always does the trick. Sooner or later they get caught in lies or simply spill their guts. Apparently Jacobson knew this and wanted to break the case herself and also slaughter her competition along the way.

One thing for sure is reporters are not to become surrogate cops or police informers. Yesterday, Plainfield Police Chief Don Bennett told reporters "Jacobson has in the past informed the Plainfield Police Department of her prior conversations with Mr. Stebic."

Smart cops will take help wherever and whenever they can get it. Of course police hope that their helpers don’t endanger themselves or interfere in the investigation.

You don’t become an award winning, top three-market TV reporter without taking risks. TV news has lost its audience and a large percentage of their financial resources because of the Internet and the cable TV explosion. Most TV reporters I know are trying to figure out how they can put their kids through college and retire in light of shrinking paychecks and dismal future.

Jacobson was clearly out to get the story at too high a personal cost. Instead, Jacobson became the top news story in Chicago. Her journalistic crime was simply getting caught. That was aggravated by WBBM-TV making Jacobson’s investigation their own top story.

Had Jacobson not been discovered by the competition and had she succeeded in helping police solve the mystery she’d have been paraded around like a ratings show pony rather than a disgraced former reporter.

Somehow I don’t think this will be the end for Jacobson. I fully expect her to pull a rabbit out of her hat and somehow capitalize on her current misfortune.

Here’s what the Chicago tribune had to say


Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that Amy Jacobson was doing any investigative reporting when she was caught wearing a bikini top at a pool party at Craig Stebic's home. And why the hell is Craig Stebic having a pool party anyway when his wife is missing. Well, it's because she is not "missing" in his eyes, cause he knows exactly where she is since he is the one that killed her. I find it incredible that Amy Jacobson would bring her two small children along with her and put them in harms way by being in a murder suspects home with the murderer. What was she thinking?

Crimefile said...

I too have a problem with her bringing her kids to this fellows pool party but am aware that there were a lot of other children there on that day.

Based on the safety in numbers theory and that the cops are watching every move this guy makes under the circumstances I think everyone was reasonably safe.

I had to dismiss the idea of a romantic relationship for several reasons. Remember that the police chief said Jacobson was informing on conversations with the person of interest/suspect.

Jacobson was taking a risk to do what she does best.

Is he a murderer? Was there a murder? It looks that way but we are only guessing right now.

I am not condoning Jacobson's method here. I don’t condemn her for it either. I think we all want that case cracked open by someone, anyone including Amy Jacobson.

Anonymous said...

Please get this story out on your blog ASAP. We are under assault everywhere,even in the rural conservative confines of Iowa.

This is a total injustice and needs to be spread far and wide so that people can voice opposition to this madness. America's police are under assault, it must be stopped.

I can't begin to tell you about the number of CPD officers who are being sued,fired,criminally charged or taking outrageous amounts of time these days.

Anonymous said...

Amy Jacobson should use her free publicity to open a detective agency! She'd be rolling in dough!

Anonymous said...

This fiasco has completely faded into oblivion in Chicago,I suppose it is now in the hands of the attorneys.