To: Mainstream media
From: A Former Reporter/Current News Junkie
Re: Excellent journalism
Two families searching for answers and “closure.”
Two excellent pieces of journalism in Sunday’s Washington Post.
Back when I was picking up on a meme about whether the New York Times had been replaced by the Washington Post as the best large newspaper in the nation (it has), blogger Derek Rose (still favoring the Times) asked for a mention of excellent reporting the Post had that the Times didn’t.
I thought of that today as I read these two stories:
One was about Tony Scrocca, whose son, Michael, died in a mysterious fire at off-campus housing at the University of Maryland (about 90 minutes from me) last spring.
The second great article is about a family trying to see justice served 32 years after their father, a television cameraman from Argentina, was shot by a soldier.
BUENOS AIRES — On a chaotic June day in 1973, Leonardo Henrichsen, a TV cameraman from Argentina, was outside the presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, trying to film an attempted military coup against President Salvador Allende. His lens zoomed in on one soldier, who was aiming a pistol directly at him.
“Don’t shoot,” Henrichsen cried out, as his sound technician’s audio recorder captured the words. “Don’t you see that we’re journalists?”
Moments later, Henrichsen lay sprawled on the pavement with a fatal bullet lodged in his chest, while his camera pointed up at a blank sky. A soldier grabbed the camera, yanked out a reel of film and destroyed it, unaware that there was a second chamber with six more minutes of shot film inside.
Those two pieces, along with a good column analyzing Google, beat the pants off anything I read in Sunday’s New York Times. And I can say that after spending the last two hours sitting at a Starbucks in Frederick, reading the Sunday Post and Times while sitting a hot cup of chai.
Meanwhile, the Times demonstrates exactly how its shortsighted and inept TimesSelect subscription model is hurting itself.
On Nov. 12, the Times featured a column by Joseph Nocera that addressed the newspaper’s new subscription plan. The article was interesting, but it left me with a question. Is it just me or is it a bit weird to read a Times piece – albeit a column – analyzing the Times “success” so far with TimesSelect? In any event, Nocera’s column is behind the Times‘ subscription wall, so you can’t read it.
Well, you can’t read it via the Times. It’s now available online via the International Herald Tribune. So to read a story in the Times about the Times‘ success with its new policy, you need to go… elsewhere.
Makes about as much sense as anything Judith Miller says these days. More on her tomorrow.