The Register deserves a LAUREL for hammering a forgotten story until the government finally did its job, but Brubaker’s statement underscores a significant problem in journalism. The fact that the tragedy of Atalissa was allowed to continue for thirty years after it was exposed is an indictment not just of government regulators but also of the media’s propensity to move relentlessly on to the next story, to fire a single bullet at massive, complex problems and consider the job done. This tendency is exacerbated in an era of shrinking newsroom resources and ambitions that erode an outlet’s institutional memory and make it even less likely that reporters will have the time and mandate to tackle these kinds of stories in the first place, let alone stick with them once they have. For that we bestow a DART, not to the Register but to the kind of ephemeral thinking and processes that infect newsrooms nationwide. We hope that this tale from Iowa—both cautionary and inspirational—prompts a thorough scouring of newspaper morgues everywhere. There are bound to be other Atalissas.
Darts and Laurels
06:00 AM - March 25, 2010
Darts and Laurels
A paper in the Midwest exposes a scandal. Thirty years later, it does it again.
The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers
Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze
The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm
Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”
Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“We may update this list next week to reflect Facebook shares gathered by The Awl as the result of this post, which is ultimately an elaborate excuse to embed a John Oliver video on our website”
The answer is complicated
An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria
“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.