The Dead Zoo Gang
"Over the last several years, millions of dollars worth of antique rhino horns have been stolen from natural history museum collections around the world. The only thing more unusual than the crimes is the theory about who is responsible: A handful of families from rural Ireland known as the Rathkeale Rovers." (Via
The Murders at The Lake.
"In the summer of 1982 the city of Waco was confronted with the most vicious crime it had ever seen: three teenagers were savagely stabbed to death, for no apparent reason, at a park by a lake on the edge of town. Justice was eventually served when four men were found guilty of the crime, and two were sent to death row. In 1991, though, when one of the convicts got a new trial and was then found not guilty, some people wondered, Were these four actually the killers? Several years after that, one of the men was put to death, and the stakes were raised: Had Texas executed an innocent man?" [more inside]
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard
." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview
" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf)
that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
In the Shadows.
The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones
investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold
" appeared in Esquire Magazine in April 1966. Sinatra had turned down interview requests from Esquire for years and refused to be interviewed for the profile. Rather than give up, Talese spent the three months following and observing the man and interviewing any members of his entourage who were willing to speak -- and the final story was published without Sinatra's cooperation or blessing. In 2003, editors pronounced it the best article the magazine had ever published. Nieman Storyboard interviewed Talese last month about the piece and has annotated it with his comments. [more inside]
"Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner — has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by [David Corn and] Mother Jones.
" Photo Gallery: Meet Groundswell's Major Players
. Also: Groundswell's Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove
// (Via) [more inside]
This past September, Jessica Ann Lum
won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories
." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away
. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible.
" The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog
. More on the project from TechCrunch
The First Rough Draft of History:
A Behind-the-Scenes History of Newsweek Magazine
On November 30, the Tampa Bay Times published a sympathetic profile of Spring Hill, FL resident Gretchen Molannen: "Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy
." Her condition, also known as PGAD, is a rare sexual disorder (not recognized by the DSM,) 'characterized
by spontaneous, persistent, unwanted sexual arousal unrelated to feelings of sexual desire.' The Times reported that Ms. Molannen's condition had virtually destroyed her personal and professional life and led to several suicide attempts. One day after the article was published, she successfully committed suicide
. [more inside]
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
"Is she O.K.?" a customer asks.
"My mom?" asks Kristy, the waitress.
"Yes," the customer replies.
Since Sunday, the front page of the New York Times has been featuring a portrait in five parts
of Elyria, Ohio (pop: 55,000), seen mostly through the lens of a local diner. (Second link is to a full multimedia feature, but direct links to the five individual articles can be found within.) [more inside]
"The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. But its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and the risks."
After an eight month international investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
has published an extensive four-part exposé into the black market for cadavers and human tissue: Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts (Via) [more inside]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series
(direct links: 1
) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf)
from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime,"
NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings
. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
, the Madison (WI) Police Department hired their first civilian Public Information Officer: former reporter Joel DeSpain. Over the last five years, Mr. DeSpain has reportedly combined "humor, a flair for the dramatic and sense of the absurd
", and turned the mundane Madison Police Blotter
into an "art form and a thing of joy." So Why Has Madison Wisconsin Has Become the Weird News Capitol of the Midwest
? Meet the United States’ most whimsical police reporter. (Last one's a gawker link. If you dislike their site / interface, have no fear: all reports in that article (plus four extras) can be found after the jump.) [more inside]
Yesterday, Politico reporter Kendra Marr was forced to resign her position
after New York Times writer Susan Stellin
alerted Marr's editors to similarities between her transportation policy story
published Sept. 26 and Marr’s story published Oct. 10
. An investigation by Politico into Marr's work found 7 instances of likely plagiarism. Marr, who was formerly a reporter for the OC Register, San Jose Mercury News and the Washington Post, had logged 409 stories (scroll down for list)
with Politico during her time there. The outlet has issued a statement
. Poynter has a thorough rundown
, indicating that more of her articles may come under scrutiny. [more inside]
'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash
. (Via) [more inside]
A year ago this August, 72 migrant workers -- 58 men and 14 women -- 'were on their way to the US border when they were murdered by a drug gang
at a ranch in northern Mexico, in circumstances that remain unexplained. Since then, a group of Mexican journalists and writers have created' a "Day of the Dead-style Virtual Altar" Spanish-language website, 72migrantes.com
, to commemorate each of the victims, some of whom have never been identified. The New York Review of Books has English translations of five of their profiles. [more inside]
On May 7th, Robert Krulwich
(of WNYC's RadioLab
and accompanying NPR blog Krulwich Wonders
) gave the commencement speech to Berkeley Journalism School’s Class of 2011 on the future of journalism
. (Via) [more inside]
In February, AOL acquired
the Huffington Post for $315 million. (Previously)
The formation of The Huffington Post Media Group was announced
, to integrate content for a new combined, claimed audience of "117 Million Americans and 270 Million Globally."
Then, AOL fired 200 US employees (leaving many sites without editorial staff
) and began restructuring
. Today, they announced that 30 brands
, including popular site Slashfood
, will be closed or folded into existing Huffington Post sections. [more inside]
"The Journalist as Programmer"
is an academic, ethnographic case study (pdf)
, which considers whether the New York Times' Interactive Newsroom Technologies unit
, source of the paper's Open Source Developer Network
, should be thought of as a template for the future of Web Journalism. Slide Deck
. (Previously on MeFi.)
NYMag profile of the INT team from '09: The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady
. ("What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.")
President Bush gave a Press Conference yesterday,
and it was only his 17th to date. According to Editor & Publisher, this compares to 43 for Bill Clinton, 84 for George H.W. Bush, and 26 for Ronald Reagan at similar points in their presidencies.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has an analysis of yesterday's rare event, calling him "elusive".
(Milbank was the same reporter who shredded Dubya a couple of years ago for granting an exclusive interview to Rupert Murdoch's trashy UK Sun
while snubbing reputable US newspapers that would have been more likely to ask hard-hitting questions.) (The WashPost links require registration, which can be bypassed with BugMeNot.)
Don't want to read the entire transcript? Try the poem "Man Date"
, instead. RudePundit took text from Bush's statements and turned 'em into poetry.