A couple of weeks ago, The Valley View, the monthly community newsletter of the Greater Madison Valley Community Council, broke the story that the City of Seattle had settled a lawsuit with the twelve Madison Valley residents who had sued over stormwater and sewer damage to their houses. This original reporting by citizen journalist David Jacobson resulted from the discovery of the settlement through a public records request. Jacobson learned that the City had agreed to pay the plaintiffs $2.5 million to keep the suit from going to court, and he shined the light of day on that fact.
Yesterday the story broke in The Seattle Times, which was gracious enough to acknowledge The Valley View as the initial source of the information. KOMO-TV, which led with the story on one of its evening news shows yesterday, didn’t bother to cite the source of the news or make it clear that the out-of-court settlement, breathlessly reported as though it were a breaking story, was actually signed in November of last year.
Oh well, we know better. Jacobson, who lives in Denny Blaine, made the Madison Park Blogger aware of The Valley View scoop at the time of publication. Although Madison Valley is not a part of our coverage area (other than the Madison Valley business district), we waited to make note of the settlement as part of our coverage today of the ongoing stormwater project. The residents' settlement with the City makes for an interesting story--and one that you can read in full here.
Three cheers for citizen journalism!