Friday, December 23, 2005

On the Front Lines of the Culture War

Despite the turmoil on its editorial pages, the Los Angeles Times continues to produce amazing reporting. "Offering Abortion, Rebirth" by Stephanie Simon tells the story of Arkansas doctor William F. Harrison, who estimates that he has performed 20,000 abortions. By sketching a day in Harrison's clinic, Simon gives us a close-up picture of how abortion affects real women's lives. Thanks to Jeremy Kohler for pointing this story out to me.,0,2003322,full.story

The Times also excelled when it broke the story of how the Pentagon was planting articles in the Iraqi press. "Planted PR Stories Not News to Military" by Mark Mazzetti and Kevin Sack follows up on that story with revelations that U.S. military officials knew what its p.r. contractor was up to despite initial denials. This is a great example of digging deep with sources and documents to expose government misinformation.,0,1826110.story?track=tottext

Finally, the Times has been diligent with follow-up stories after Hurricane Katrina. "Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina Resettle Along a Racial Divide" by Tomas Alex Tizon and Doug Smith uses postal records to show that poor blacks from New Orleans were more likely to land farther away, where government-chartered buses or planes took them, while mostly white suburban evacuees tended to find housing closer to the city, minimizing the disruption to their lives.,0,1584806,print.story


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