When we first began to cover the many close relationships between flauntrepreneur Scott Jones's ChaCha search engine and Indiana University, the Indiana Herald-Times was one of the few local newspapers to closely question the relationship. Steve Hinnefeld of the Herald-Times was even following Valleywag's coverage, and came to similar conclusions: Although nothing legally wrong occurred, IU officials' failure to disclose their ChaCha ties was suspicious. However, since then the newspaper has provided the issue little attention. Why?
We've learned that Hinnefeld, referred to as the "IU watchdog" for the Herald-Times, left the newspaper for a media relations position at ... Indiana University. Surprise, surprise. It's reassuring to know that Nick Denton isn't alone in hiring his critics. When Owen Thomas tires of me writing about ChaCha, I look forward to a comfy desk job in lovely Bloomington, Indiana.