Friday, November 04, 2005

High School Survivors

I'm a bit late recognizing the excellence of Liz Bowie's series "On Their Own," which the Baltimore Sun ran in mid October. Bowie and photographer André Chung spent much of a school year with high school seniors Iven Bailey and Gary Sells, two of 2,289 homeless students in Baltimore. The series is a moving tale of two young men trying to find hope while struggling with little help from their families against desperate odds. Bowie's reporting is deep and her writing is beautiful.,1,7025182.special?coll=bal-home-utility

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Fight for Life

So far I've paid tribute only to writers, but photojournalists often do some of the best reporting. That's definitely the case with James Nachtwey of Time. His black-and-white photo essay, "One Life At A Time," powerfully shows the struggle of people suffering from preventable diseases around the world. Nachtwey's pictures are featured in Time's Nov. 7 issue, which does a commendable job of focusing on ways we can save the lives of 6 million children and many more adults who die unnecessarily every year.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Murder in Ukraine

A year after the Orange Revolution overthrew Ukraine's brutal government, Myroslava Gongadze returned to the country to find out the truth about the death of her husband, crusading journalist Georgy Gongadze. She learns that many Ukranians suspect he was murdered by the regime of former president Leonid Kuchma. In a Frontline World special, "Ukraine -- a Murder in Kyiv," reporter Brian Knappenberger follows Gongadze as she tries to unravel the political intrigue surrounding her husband's killing. The result is a story with the narrative drive of a John le Carre' novel, except it is only all too real. The packaging of Knappenberger's video, print story, photos and links are a great example of how different media can enhance each other on the Web.

Soggy Weapons

Since the days of World War I, the U.S. military has dumped chemical weapons, unexploded bombs, land mines and radioactive waste into the oceans, sometimes in relatively shallow water, John M.R. Bull of the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va., reports. In his investigative story, "Unsafe dumping," Bull details how these weapons are washing ashore on our coastlines, endangering the public. His two-part series includes lively examples, historical background and explanations by military officials.,0,2199000.story?page=1&coll=dp-widget-news

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Central American Connection

Under new Editor Dean Baquet, the Los Angeles Times is generating consistently excellent reporting. Almost every day the Times boasts an enterprising story that covers ground where few papers venture. One example is "Gang Uses Deportation to Its Advantage to Flourish in U.S." by Robert J. Lopez, Rich Connell and Chris Kraul, which traces how deportation policies have allowed an L.A. street gang to flourish in Central America and from there spread its roots to other U.S. cities. The story features reporting from El Salvador, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. in addition to interviews with FBI officers, prosecutors and the gang members themselves.,0,6717943.story?page=1

Monday, October 31, 2005


Covering a funeral is an assignment nearly every reporter dreads. But in "Last Rest for 'Doc,' " Monte Mitchell of the Winston-Salem Journal approaches the assignment with great sensitivity. By using simple, crisp sentences, he lets the power of his vivid details and anecdotes give an appropriate tribute to a hero killed while serving his country.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Not-So-Golden Years

Many companies are cutting back on the health insurance they offer their retirees, forcing senior citizens to cut back on their care or go back to work to pay for their coverage. Jean P. Fisher of the Raleigh News Observer mixes the stories of these struggling retirees with national and local data to show us the impact of this growing trend in her article "Coverage they can't count on: Employers raising costs of retiree medical care."
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