Thanks to Steve Davies over at Endangered Species & Wetlands Report, the draft bill so many seemed to have but no one was willing to share became public, and journalist Chris Getzan was able to jump on it. This draft was one of the sillier Washington leaks, since everyone was asked to keep the source secret -- though in this case the source hardly matters -- and no one was permitted to show anyone the bill without getting permission all the way up the chain.
Anyway, our (editorial) opinion of the piece Chris put together is that it's one of the best articles we have run in a while. His research of the story began about a month ago when he figured out that the legislation was coming, so Chris had a terrific grasp of the issue by the time he sat down to write, including interviews spanning weeks.
But in all honesty, we were not satisfied with Chris's original draft coverage of this developing story, which he did a few weeks ago. We have not in the past showed first drafts of TNS stories to our readers. So to do that one-better, here is an interesting entry in Chris's personal weblog -- it contains curious comments about us, his editors, as well as an early draft of an unpublished article written for TNS. I like that Chris's comments offer an honest look behind the scenes at what goes through one NewStandard journalist's head as he's sweating over a hard news article.
Normally, of course, we would never expose someone's work on our blog if it wasn't published on the main site. But since Chris beat us to it, all bets are off. Besides, he has a long record of writing solid articles for TNS, including my all-time favorites: "Homeless Advocates, Oil Companies Eye Shuttered Military Bases" and "White House May Be Planning Nationwide Program to Diagnose, Drug Kids."