Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Amateur hour (and a some professionalism)

Today's Post-Star ran as its front page lead a commentary about the passing of Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner.

Bear in mind that this is referring to...

-The front page of the paper, not of the sports section;

-A commentary, not a news story;

-A sports figure with no particular personal connection to this area.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a commentary, let alone one about sports, as the front page lead. Then again, the paper's managing editor is an avowed Yankee fan.

It doesn't speak well of the paper's editorial judgment.

Though as an antidote to such poor prioritization, I've recently discovered two excellent websites.

The first is Pro Publica. The non-profit organization its mission as [t]o expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.

The other is Wikileaks. It describes itself as a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public... [based on the principle] that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. Wikileaks has become so influential that Pentagon Papers' leaker Daniel Ellsberg warned that the personal safety of the website's founder might be at risk and Obama administration's relentless pursuit of whistleblowers. More 'change' we can believe in, it seems.

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