Denver Post balks at following partner 9News' lead on Edward Nottingham resignation story

Categories: Media
Nottingham_.jpg
Judge Edward Nottingham in an image from KnowYourCourts.com.

"Convergence" is a term used in journalistic circles to describe quasi-formal content-sharing relationships between news organizations operating in different mediums -- like, for example, the one linking the Denver Post and 9News. (Read more about it in "Let's Get Together," a 2002 Message column.) However, the Post isn't simply taking its partner's word when it comes to reports about the possible resignation of controversial Judge Edward Nottingham -- the subject of such Westword blogs as "'Naughty' Nottingham: When Judges Go Bad" and "More Naughty Stories about Nottingham."

Channel 9's latest story about Nottingham, "Prostitute: Federal Judge Asked Me to Lie," is very straight-forward. Here's the lead in the text version:

9Wants to Know has learned Chief Judge Edward Nottingham of Colorado is expected to resign Friday after learning of new allegations filed against him from a former prostitute who claims he asked her to lie to investigators and hide that he paid her for sex.

The Rocky Mountain News seems just as certain that Nottingham is going to hang up his robes, putting "Federal Judge Expected to Go" on page one. But Post decision-makers chose to place its report, "Federal Judge May Resign Amid Stripper Inquiry," below the fold on the front of its secondary Denver & the West section, in part because editors aren't as confident as 9News and the Rocky that Nottingham's exit is imminent. The key paragraph reads:

9News and the Rocky Mountain News reported that Nottingham is going to resign. But a source close to the judge told The Denver Post that he has not made a decision to resign and that he is consulting with his attorneys.

Even if Nottingham walks in the next hour or so, the Post is to be applauded for independently researching the story, as opposed to taking 9News' word, and for reaching its own conclusions about the available evidence rather than obediently following the herd. That's convergence done the responsible way. -- Michael Roberts

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