The following is an excerpt from an email sent to The NewStandard by Chicago media activist and long-time TNS reader/supporter Mitchell Szczepanczyk about the impact of the story we ran last week by Jessica Pupovac. The story concerned the Chicago Transit Authority's decision to decline an offer of discounted diesel for its buses from Venezuelan-owned Citgo oil, the only condition being they had to pass the savings on to poor public-transit users.
Within a day of the post of Jessica's story on TNS, it got reposted/linked on two widely-read Chicago-area websites: Chicago Indymedia (which prominently re-featured the story) and Gapers Block. Another blog, Chicagoist, also linked to the story.
It continued spreading among a variety of left-of-center websites: COANews posted it as their lead story, Alternet reprinted the story in its entirety and featured it.
Then yesterday, things really got big. A number of prominent Chicago-area legislators held a press conference about the matter. Somehow they heard about the story and vented loudly. The coverage of that press conference and the story led to stories in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune (despite a previous unsuccessful attempt on my part to get the Tribune interested in the story), and on Chicago's CBS radio affilate and Chicago Public Radio.
TNS was cited immediately by Chicago-area legislator Luis Guttierez's communications director as a key source for the story getting reposted across the web and onto wider public consciousness, continuing to add to the considerable value of TNS.
We don't usually have time in our day to do this level of follow-up on any particular story we publish, but it's really gratifying when a reader contacts us to let us know what a difference our journalists make.