theodp writes: In April, the Chicago Tribune touted its investment in and use of news outsourcer Journatic. "We're excited to partner with Journatic, both as an investor and as a customer," said Dan Kazan, the Trib's Sr. VP of Investments. "Journatic will expand Tribune's ability to deliver relevant hyperlocal content to our readers, and we believe that many other publishers and advertisers will benefit from its services as well." That was then. In a Friday-the-13th letter to readers, the Tribune announced a plagiarized and fabricated story has prompted the paper to suspend its relationship with Journatic. The move comes two weeks after Journatic's standards and practices were called into question by This American Life, which noted several Journatic-produced stories had appeared this year on TribLocal online with false bylines. Explaining why he went public about his experience at Journatic, reporter Ryan Smith said he felt 'people should know how their local newspapers are being hollowed out.'
Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest
way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
-- Sinclair Lewis