Item one: there is not a single piece of information in the News Journal story that is not a direct quote or a close paraphrase of the ECS press release. Even Governor Jack Markell's comments are taken from that press release. The height of journalistic laziness is in not going to a single individual--pro or con--for an independent comment on the award or the organization.
Item two: there were things to find.
According to the press release, here's what ECS is:
The commission is a nonpartisan group of governors, legislators, school officials and other education leaders from 49 statesFor example, it might have been worth knowing something about ECS, like who are the Education Commissioners for Delaware are:
Yep, that's pretty much all you need to know there.
But just in case you are still curious, let's examine who one of the GOLD sponsors of ECS is:
Nah, no possible vested interest there, huh?
Now there's not necessarily anything wrong with these associations, but if you are a reporter (hello, Matthew Albright) actually aspiring to write news stories rather than reprint the press releases of special interest groups, you'd think you'd have found this sort of thing, wouldn't you?
For the record: I know the days of reporters are so filled with Jimmy Olsen type moments that heavy research might be difficult.
This took, ah, three and one-half minutes.