Why we ignored two huge stories

In the the past two weeks, two major pieces of investigative journalism have hit the Web: the Washington Post's "Top Secret America" series, about the massive expansion of our national security apparatus after 9/11; and the New York Times' "The War Logs," which shed new light on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. And both have landed with a resounding thud. Full Story »

Posted by David Agnew - via Salon
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Posted by: Posted by David Agnew - Jul 29, 2010 - 8:40 AM PDT
Content Type: Article
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Edited by: Sally Lehrman - Jan 22, 2011 - 12:50 PM PST

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David Agnew
1.8
by David Agnew - Aug. 6, 2010

1 in 300 Americans have 'top-secret' security clearances and Salon figures it's not a story because it lacks "compelling visuals" and doesn't have a direct impact on readers. US taxpayer money given to Pakistan is spent to assassinate Afghan leaders and Salon figures there's no simple "takeaway point". I believe this story misses the point - namely that MSM, being big business, profits from the war machine and it's brother, the "intelligence" machine, so these stories are downplayed.

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Preston Watts
2.3
by Preston Watts - Aug. 7, 2010

We ignored the "huge stories" because they are not news.

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Sally Lehrman
3.1
by Sally Lehrman - Jan. 22, 2011

High-quality journalism does not require a "new scandal" in order to be relevant. It's true that the stories did not get much legs, but in part the blame rests on other news outlets that did not take the information and build on it. I do agree that we all must work harder to show concrete impact. And we must keep in mind that major stories can overwhelm -- they can seem too big, broad and perhaps too depressing to keep a reader's attention. We need to work harder to connect the ... More »

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Laura Gonzalez
3.8
by Laura Gonzalez - Jan. 30, 2011

This article is unique because it analyzes how effective the journalism of other publications was when covering "big" stories. Specifically, this article criticizes the way news values, news elements and pillars of online journalism were (inefficiently) used. I think this is an example of responsible journalism; holding other journalists accountable for their work and addressing the weaknesses they saw. In a world where anything and everything can be considered "newsworthy," the author of this article recognizes that there is a difference between producing a story for the sake of producing a story and producing a story to benefit all those that read it. Although the journalism industry is grounded in its strict time limits and ... More »

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