Why TV station couldn't break news of Penn State scandal

PEJ | TVNewsCheck

Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim helped make former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky a household name — he was the top newsmaker last week, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism — by reporting early that he was being investigated for sexually abusing young boys. One of Ganim's local competitors, TV reporter Gary Sinderson, explains why he couldn't have done what the 24-year-old Penn State grad did.

Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim, who broke the story of the grand jury investigation in March, worked here in Centre County for several years. We compared notes on the Sandusky issue. She did fine work and deserves the boatload of awards that will probably be coming her way. We both knew the truth of the story was in Harrisburg with the grand jury. The Patriot-News, to its credit, gave her the time necessary to work on the story.

Why couldn't I report it? I didn't have the time to get the needed verification to move the story ahead or to convince my bosses it's not a rumor, but a real story. It's just the nature of my particular job. I'm a one-man band, expected to crank out several stories a day. I may get a day or two to work on a large story, but not the time afforded to Ganim.

Sinderson works for WJAC, a Cox-owned NBC affiliate. || Previously: Ganim: "This is just like very other crime story that I report"


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