Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Admiration for a Reporter

I've followed his work for some time and even if you're the type who doesn't pay attention to bylines, this name is one worth noting: Jason DeParle, senior reporter for the New York Times, is the real deal. The stories he pursues—that obviously take serious time/patience to find—reveal dogged reporting; it seems he talks with just about everyone who has an insight on whatever subject he's covering.

And while his clear writing and thoughtful framing of issues are model stuff, I'm most impressed with the subjects he takes on in his work. Why? Because he writes about the matters that are off of most people's radar.

From welfare reform and poverty issues to migrant workers and now immigration reform, DeParle's nose for those on the fringe is what reporting should be. Period. Though his recent page one story in the Sunday NYTimes was an impressive (and important) look at the "most influential unknown man in America," his inspiring portrayal of Allan Tibbels, an urban wheel-chair bound Christian worker, was equally thought-provoking.

DeParle gets at truth, he gives voice to the voiceless and he watches the powers that be with an eye for context as well as the big picture. I only hope his work can inspire a new generation of reporters to follow suit.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

News from the next generation

Alas. It's not that news hasn't been happening since my last post . . .  it's that it's been getting done! And delightfully so by a few aspiring reporters from the next generation I've watched develop over the past few months. Check out the Gordon College News Service, now in its second year and one of many new partnerships springing up between community newspapers and local colleges.

If good journalism is to continue, such partnerships will be crucial to insuring the integrity of the profession for the public trust. That term—the public trust—is one I've been thinking about lately. Email me and let me know how you would define it.