February 22, 2019

Chronicle Is Publishing Forsyth County Press Releases Without Revealing That They’re Written By Forsyth County

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Todd Luck worked as a journalist for The Chronicle for several years. I crossed paths with Luck on a couple of occasions at community events and local government meetings. According to his public LinkedIn page, Luck began working for The Chronicle in 2005.

Search for Todd Luck on The Chronicle’s website, and you will find 88 pages of content going back to August 2012. The last article credited to Todd Luck was published in November of last year.

Luck left The Chronicle near the end of 2018 and took a position with Forsyth County. Todd Luck is now a communication specialist for the County. But contrary to basic rules of journalistic integrity Todd Luck’s articles continue to appear in The Chronicle, without disclosing that the content is coming from the County, not The Chronicle.

Here are some examples:

“Smith Reynolds Airport contributes $801 million, 3,585 jobs to local economy,” was published January 17, “by W-S Chronicle.” But that same article, word-for-word was written by Todd Luck and published on Forsyth County’s website a week prior. Again, a February 14, Chronicle story on the origins of Forsyth County’s seal, was published “by W-S Chronicle,” but was written by Todd Luck.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle can’t continue to publish Forsyth County news releases without acknowledging that they’re publishing news releases. That’s unethical.

The Chronicle already has a credibility problem. The City Council can’t objectively cover the City Council. For nearly two years now The Chronicle has been owned in-part by Councilmembers James Taylor and now former Councilmember Derwin Montgomery. Taylor also publishes The Chronicle. The other owners of The Chronicle haven’t been revealed to the public.

The Chronicle needs to publicly apologize for trying to pass off Forsyth County press releases as its original work. Winston’s Black newspaper is out of luck (Todd Luck) and in need of reinvestment and reinvention. The Chronicle needs to make fundamental improvements or risk going out of business in the near future.

Readers of The Chronicle deserve to know the names of all the members of The Chronicle’s ownership group, just like they deserve to know if what they’re reading is from The Chronicle or marketing material from Forsyth County.

*photos are of The Chronicle’s old location on Liberty Street.

 

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