The NYT’s series on the life and death of hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard won a Dart Award last night (WNYC’s excellent “Living 9/11” documentary also won). John Branch and company’s multimedia report, which was published in December, was an example of the kind of ambitious—I would say crusading, though the Times would never call it that—reporting that has been cropping up in the Sports section more frequently in recent years. Starting in 2007, Alan Schwarz’s articles, which almost single-handedly forced the NFL to confront the problem of head injuries, seemed to open a welcome new chapter in the paper’s approach to sports. The Boogaard series was riveting and heart-breaking, but so far hasn’t spurred the kind of ongoing coverage, or conversation, about hockey that Schwarz’s articles did about football. Here’s hoping that it still will.
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