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Im a journalist because my dad read the paper every day, and I wanted to demand attention like that, to seek truth, to share real stories that matter with communities that care. Theyve never mattered more.
Editorial and Opinion Director, The San Diego Union-Tribune and Secretary-Treasurer, Society of Professional Journalists
Im a journalist because I enjoy helping people understand their community, country and world. Journalism is a public service and Im proud to be part of it.
Deputy Team Leader, Bloomberg Law
I am a journalist because I want to make a difference.
Investigative Reporter, Indianapolis Star
I am a journalist because my community needs someone to tell its stories.
Freelance Writer, Editor and Publisher
Im a journalist because theres no substitute for a well-informed public.
Morning Edition Host / Producer, Maine Public Radio
I am a journalist because helping people learn more about their community the good, the bad, the flawed, the inspiring, etc. helps us all to make better decisions and hold each other accountable.
Homepage producer, Washington Post
I am a journalist because my job gives me the opportunity to share stories that inform, educate and sometimes even inspire.
Group Editor-in-Chief, Virginia, NC and SC Lawyers Weekly
I am a journalist because I want my country and its people to be healthy, educated and just.
Assistant Professor of Journalism at Indiana State University
I was a journalism professor because nothing is more important to a democracy than a free press and reporters who pursue truth.
Professor Emeritus, Executive Associate Dean Emeritus, Indiana University School of Journalism
I am a journalist because truth matters. It informs citizens to make decisions and protects our democracy. Truth is what I teach my children and so it is what I owe them.
Broadcasting Professor, University of Cincinnati
I became a journalist because I believe in being a truth-teller, which is very important to my family's Cherokee heritage. Combine that with my very strong sense of fairness and a deep love of writing, and I was just born to be a journalist.
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Media, University of Idaho
I'm a journalist because the public depends on truthful accounts about decisions by those in power.
SPJ Region 2 Director
I am a journalist because I wanted to write about rock'n'roll and ended up rocking the First Amendment.
Projects Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Reporting: The South Florida Sun Sentinels coverage of the Feb. 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, in Parkland, Florida, and the attacks aftermath.
This unflinching collection of stories, including a nearly minute-by-minute overview of the attack by suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz, who shot 34 people in the school, killing 17, is an excellent example of how even ethical journalism can harm people survivors of the attack who read about, the families of the victims and others.
The telling of the story, particularly when backed up with video from the school where Cruz allegedly went on his rampage with a rifle, shows how fulfilling the ethics of informing the public of how the general unpreparedness and bungles of police likely let the carnage reach the toll it did. The stories are also a roadmap for police and other first responders toward improving response to school shootings.
Read more [projects.sun-sentinel.com]
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News: Coverage of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in the heavily Jewish Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, by the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Eleven people died, and six were wounded. An unprecedented act of violence in this multiethnic, diversely religious city.
These stories demonstrate, as do the Sun Sentinel stories about the Parkland, Florida, high school shootings, the necessary hurt that excellent journalism may cause, such as in stories focused on the survivors of the attack, and on people who were not in the attack but who were or are closed to people who were.
But they also illustrate the ethical practice of journalism that informs an audience about a major life-changing occurrence in a major U.S. city. In this case, a tragedy ensued despite good police preparedness and response.
The story is not as matter-of-fact as the Sun Sentinels overview story. It is neither a better nor a worse treatment the difference is a matter of style more than of anything else but the Pittsburgh stories carry more of a sense of community violation. They also show an expression of a community set against savagery.
Read more [pulitzer.org]
By Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo, Simon Lewis And Antoni Slodkowski
INN DIN, Myanmar Bound together, the 10 Rohingya Muslim captives watched their Buddhist neighbors dig a shallow grave. Soon afterwards, on the morning of Sept. 2, all 10 lay dead. At least two were hacked to death by Buddhist villagers. The rest were shot by Myanmar troops, two of the gravediggers said.
One grave for 10 people, said Soe Chay, 55, a retired soldier from Inn Dins Rakhine Buddhist community who said he helped dig the pit and saw the killings. The soldiers shot each man two or three times, he said. When they were being buried, some were still making noises. Others were already dead.
The killings in the coastal village of Inn Din marked another bloody episode in the ethnic violence sweeping northern Rakhine state, on Myanmars western fringe. Nearly 690,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their villages and crossed the border into Bangladesh since August. None of Inn Dins 6,000 Rohingya remained in the village as of October.
The Rohingya accuse the army of arson, rapes and killings aimed at rubbing them out of existence in this mainly Buddhist nation of 53 million. The United Nations has said the army may have committed genocide; the United States has called the action ethnic cleansing. Myanmar says its clearance operation is a legitimate response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents.
Read more [Reuters.com]
By Anna Claire Vollers
Alabama Media Group
Thunder rumbled overhead, immediately drowned out by the growl of a four-wheeler crashing through the Alabama backwoods. Kent Hovind roared into view atop an ATV, taking the rutted dirt path down the hill and cruising to a stop in front of the welcome center.
He grinned and hopped off.
"We have constant chaos here," he announced. "I'll tell you the whole story."
His yellow safari shirt bore a Dinosaur Adventure Land patch (motto: "Where God gets glory for His creation") similar to the logo on the welcome center behind him. His life's work is to prove the Bible is true and scientifically accurate, and that evolution is "the dumbest religion in the history of the world."
Read more [al.com]
By Jerry Zremski
The Buffalo News
Rebel soldiers raced through the village in the mountains of eastern Burma, barking a warning. They saw Burmese troops approaching, bearing rifles and flamethrowers.
Nay Htoo felt his mothers hand on his shoulder rousing him. Bleary-eyed and confused, the 9-year-old tossed on his one set of clothes, gathered his most prized possessions and rushed out of the bamboo hut he called home.
He dashed into the jungle with a satchel of schoolbooks slung over his shoulder and his puppy a brown and white mutt no bigger than a football clutched to his chest. He struggled to keep up with his family and other villagers as they cut a path into the mountains, stumbling in the darkness, afraid to light a torch.
The little boy heard gunfire back in his hometown, the Karen ethnic village of Kwee Ler Shu. At war with the Karen rebel army, the Burmese soldiers shot the livestock and burned the town to the ground.
And so it was, on a sticky summer night in 1981, that Nay Htoo found himself shoved onto the refugee road.
Read more [buffalonews.com]
By Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Justice has never been blind when it comes to race in Florida. Blacks were first at the mercy of slave masters. Then came Jim Crow segregation and the Ku Klux Klan.
Now, prejudice wears a black robe.
Half a century after the civil rights movement, trial judges throughout Florida sentence blacks to harsher punishment than whites, a Herald-Tribune investigation found.
They offer blacks fewer chances to avoid jail or scrub away felonies.
They give blacks more time behind barssometimes double the sentences of whites accused of the same crimes under identical circumstances.
Read more [PDF]
By Naomi Zeveloff
Between 1991 and 1996, seven Israeli and Palestinian children starred in a Canadian documentary series about life in Jerusalem. Though they grew up within miles of one another, they lived worlds apart, never to meet. A quarter-century later, I set out to find them.
I learned about the obscure series, called Children of Jerusalem, from my editor. He had learned about it from his 6-year-old daughter, who discovered it while surfing the Internet for shows about children from faraway lands. I wonder if it would be interesting to do something about where the kids in the film wound up and what happened to the filmmaker, my editor said in an email. It sounded like a story and possibly an adventure.
The piece was also an opportunity to look at how Jerusalem shapes its children. Israelis often tell me that the only people who can appreciate Jerusalem are those who grew up there, as if a childhood spent in the white stone city unlocks it for a lifetime.
I was mystified by Jerusalem when I visited it for the first time, at 12, roughly the age of the children in the film series. But when I returned there to live as a foreign correspondent in 2014, I found it utterly stifling. Like so many secular people, I decamped to Tel Aviv, returning to Jerusalem only for work. Could these seven people, now my own age, help me understand and appreciate their city?
Read more [forward.com]
By Lenny Bernstein, David S. Fallis and Scott Higham
The Washington Post
A decade ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that was claiming thousands of American lives each year.
The DEA began to target wholesale companies that distributed hundreds of millions of highly addictive pills to the corrupt pharmacies and pill mills that illegally sold the drugs for street use.
Leading the campaign was the agencys Office of Diversion Control, whose investigators around the country began filing civil cases against the distributors, issuing orders to immediately suspend the flow of drugs and generating large fines.
But the industry fought back. Former DEA and Justice Department officials hired by drug companies began pressing for a softer approach. In early 2012, the deputy attorney general summoned the DEAs diversion chief to an unusual meeting over a case against two major drug companies.
That meeting was to chastise me for going after industry, and thats all that meeting was about, recalled Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the diversion office for a decade before he was removed from his position and retired in 2015.
Read more [PDF]
2019 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting: The Los Angeles Times follows the story of a University of Southern California health-clinic gynecologist whom patients complained for many years touched them inappropriately and made inappropriate remarks during examinations.
The two-reporter team took great care to shield the identity of former patients who did not want to be identified, and to hide the identity of former employees who did not want their names used. The reporters stated the reasons for not identifying these sources. The reporters also appear to have worked extensively to balance the input of sources. More than ample opportunity was provided for the accused physician to explain himself.
Read more [pulitzer.org]
2019 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing: Hannah Dreier details for ProPublica how the Trump administrations policies, and zealotry among law-enforcement agencies and school administrators, to get rid of gangs on Long Island seriously derailed the innocence of teenagers on New Yorks Long Island.
Unless sources offer them, no last names or first names are used in some of the three stories.
In the first story, the primary source discloses his willingness to be identified. A long editors note about the ethics of the article, along with some readers comments, appears at the end of the piece.
Read more [pulitzer.org]
By Kevin Rector and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
The Baltimore Sun
A gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis with a shotgun Thursday afternoon, killing five people, authorities said.
Journalists dived under their desks and pleaded for help on social media. One reporter described the scene as a war zone. A photographer said he jumped over a dead colleague and fled for his life.
The victims were identified as Rob Hiaasen, 59, a former feature writer for The Baltimore Sun who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and columnist; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who headed special publications; Gerald Fischman, 61, the editorial page editor; John McNamara, 56, a staff writer who had covered high school, college and professional sports for decades; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant hired in November.
Two others were injured in the attack that began about 2:40 p.m. at the Capital Gazette offices at 888 Bestgate Road in Annapolis.
Police took a suspect into custody soon after the shootings. He was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a long-standing grudge against the paper.
Read more [baltimoresun.com]
By Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
The federal governments devastating report on climate change holds three especially dramatic messages:
Extremely hot weather is getting more common, and the average annual temperature in the U.S. is expected to rise by 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit in about 30 years. The continental U.S. is already 1.8 degrees warmer than it was 100 years ago.
Climate change has doubled the devastation from wildfires as witness the deadly fires in Northern California.
And rising sea levels will force mass migrations a nightmare with obvious, massive impact for South Florida. Sea-level rise might reshape the U.S. population redistribution, with 13.1 million people potentially at risk needing to migrate due to a [rise] of 6 feet... by the year 2100, the report states.
This is the most comprehensive assessment of climate science currently available in the world, Robert Kopp, of Rutgers University, one of the reports lead authors, told The Atlantic, and it reaffirms what weve already known.
Read more [theinvadingsea.com]
By Katelyn Ferral
The Capital Times
KING, Wisconsin Walter Sundling wanted to live at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Held captive by the Nazis during World War II after his plane was shot down over Germany, the 90-year-old Air Force veteran was healthy when he asked to move to the community surrounded by southern pines he visited as a child. He had his own apartment at an assisted living facility in Madison, but wanted to be near others who had served their country, at the home between Stevens Point and Oshkosh.
He said, Id love to be with veterans. Id really like to be with my own kind and Ive heard so many good things about King, said Sundlings daughter, Sharon Blando, who lives in Milwaukee. He was just so happy to be with the vets.
Two years later, Blando said, the Purple Heart recipient developed gastrointestinal bleeding from untreated constipation. Two heart attacks followed and Sundling later died, the result, Blando claims, of widespread neglect at Wisconsins largest state-run, skilled nursing facility. Despite her fathers advanced age, Blando believes abysmal care at King expedited his death last year.
Read more [madison.com]
David A. Fahrenthold
The Washington Post
In the fall of 1996, a charity called the Association to Benefit Children held a ribbon-cutting in Manhattan for a new nursery school serving children with AIDS. The boldface names took seats up front.
There was then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) and former mayor David Dinkins (D). TV stars Frank and Kathie Lee Giford, who were major donors. And there was a seat saved for Steven Fisher, a developer who had given generously to build the nursery.
Then, all of a sudden, there was Donald Trump.
Nobody knew he was coming, said Abigail Disney, another donor sitting on the dais. Theres this kind of ruckus at the door, and I dont know what was going on, and in comes Donald Trump. [He] just gets up on the podium and sits down.
Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. Hed never given a dollar to the nursery or the Association to Benefit Children, according to Gretchen Buchenholz, the charitys executive director then and now.
But now he was sitting in Fishers seat, next to Giuliani.
Read more [PDF]
By Vladimir Duthiers, Judy Tygard, Chris Young Ritzen, Michelle Fanucci, Nancy Kramer, Ruth Chenetz and Susan Zirinsky
By Lara Greenberg and Kyle Cooper
WHP CBS 21
By Blake Essig and Albert Lutan
By Brian Ross, James Gordon Meek, Brian Epstein, Megan Christie and Rhonda Schwartz
20/20, ABC News