Saturday, April 29, 2006

Abu Ghraib Uncensored

I am late giving credit to for its thorough coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq. Earlier this year Salon's Mark Benjamin acquired 270 photos and 19 video's from the Army's Criminal Investigation Command showing the extent of abuse at the prison. These photos and videos now appear on along with nine essays by Benjamin and Michael Scherer describing and analyzing what happened and an overview story by Joan Walsh reporting on the Army's own investigation. Additional work on "The Abu Ghraib" files was done by Page Rockwell, Jeanne Carstensen, Mark Follman and Tracy Clark-Flory. The Salon team deserves praise for not letting this story fade away.
Warning: Many of the photos are highly disturbing.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

View from the Other Side

Sunday's St. Petersburg Times offered a perspective on immigration that I hadn't seen before. "A Cross They Can't Bear" by Mary Spicuzza describes what it's like for families in Mexico who have already lost loved ones trying to cross the border into the U.S. and now wonder if other relatives have survived the trip. Spicuzza shows us the life of Laura Teresa Gomez, who anxiously waits in her impoverished Oaxaca home to find out whether her husband has lived through the dangerous journey north. Kathleen Flynn's wonderful photos add more heart to the story.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Back to School

For more than a month, Chicago Public Radio, along with partners WTTW Channel 11, the Chicago Reporter, the Chicago Public Library and Catalyst magazine, is shining a bright spotlight on education issues through its "Chicago Matters" series. For an example of the reporting depth that this series boasts, listen to Lisa Miller's story, "Pay to Play," on Chicago Public Radio about a public school which hasn't had recess in 25 years and the moms who are fighting to bring it back. Other topics in the series include schools that rely on large fundraisers to make ends meet, the plight of rural schools with small tax bases and a debate team that is out to conquer the odds.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

X Factor

It's not easy mixing hard science with compelling narrative, but Kara Platoni of the East Bay Express succeeds with "The Fragile Ones." Platoni explains Fragile X Syndrome through the story of 8-year-old Lucas Clark and his family. She manages to give us deep information about the genetic disorder while showing the daily struggles and small victories of a little boy and the people who care for him.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Predators on the Loose

Julia Sommerfeld and Michael J. Berens of the Seattle Times are sharing a powerful investigative series this week on sexual misconduct by health-care professionals. "License to Harm" shows that the state of Washington does little to stop the doctors, nurses, counselors and other health-care workers who have sexually abused hundreds of patients. After legally challenging the state to open its files and then compiling data from 1995 to 2005, Sommerfeld and Berens found that lax regulations have allowed some of these predators to keep their licenses. They also reveal that to be a registered counselor in the state, you only need four hours of training. In addition to their excellent use of computer-assisted reporting, they did some good old-fashioned leg work to come up with the stories' compelling anecdotes.
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