The Globe partners with ProPublica and public radio in its push into Rhode Island

The Boston Globe’s Rhode Island vertical today features an investigative report from ProPublica and The Public’s Radio (formerly Rhode Island Public Radio) on “whether failures in Rhode Island’s 911 system are costing lives.” ProPublica stories are licensed under Creative Commons, which means that anyone can republish them for free as long as they give credit. (It’s a little more complicated than that, but not much.)

But if you go to the ProPublica version of the story, you’ll see a note that it was “co-published” with the Globe, which suggests some sort of exclusive arrangement — or at least a head’s-up. (The Public’s Radio version is here.) I asked Globe editor Brian McGrory to explain. His emailed answer:

We’ve got a good relationship with ProPublica. Its editors were kind enough to see if we had interest in co-publishing this story, an important look at a flawed system. We were delighted to do it. and it’s getting significant readership. We’ll keep looking for other opportunities to collaborate in Rhode Island, adding to the work of the three excellent reporters that we have on the ground.

Smart move by the Globe, as it was an easy way to get access to an important investigative story as well as to give a boost to its Rhode Island initiative. There is nothing to stop The Providence Journal or other news organizations from publishing the story, but it doesn’t seem likely given that the Globe, ProPublica and The Public’s Radio have already run it.

I also asked McGrory if he could say what region the Globe might target next as part of what looks very much like an effort to expand its digital footprint in various underserved parts of New England. Not surprisingly, he demurred — and, of course, it’s possible that no decisions have been made.

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Out and about in Providence

On Federal Hill last Thursday with Esther of Gratuitous Violins.

R.I. governor bans state employees from talk radio

In case you missed it, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has banned state employees from appearing on commercial talk radio (public radio is OK). He’s already had to modify his stance: the ban is apparently inoperative if there’s an emergency.

In a puckish response, a Republican politico, John Loughlin, has decided to boycott Rhode Island’s public radio station, WRNI, although Loughlin hastens to add it’s “nothing personal.”

Back when he was a U.S. senator, Chafee always struck me as clueless but harmless. He’s still clueless.

Patrick Kennedy won’t seek re-election


Here is the advertisement that will be broadcast in Rhode Island on Sunday evening in which U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy announces he won’t seek re-election this fall (via Chris Cillizza).

Ian Donnis of WRNI Radio in Providence has more — including a list of possible Democratic contenders who want to take on Republican candidate John Loughlin. Jon Keller writes that it makes good sense for Kennedy to walk away given his personal problems and the difficulty he would have had getting re-elected.

Finally, last month, former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci told the Providence Journal that he might run for Kennedy’s seat, a federal corruption conviction apparently being no impediment (via @derjue). The spirit of James Michael Curley lives.