Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pulitzer Prize awarded to old fashioned beat reporting

The LA Times won a well-deserved Pulitzer for its work on the Bell, California public employee salary scandal. In its coverage of the prize, Poynter describe the various interactive tools used by the reporters to enhance the story.

What is interesting to me is that many of us suggested to our FJ leaders more than ten years ago that we should use the Internet and website to post the many documents that we were obtaining in investigations. So many times, we gathered information that was interesting, but simply too extensive to use in the printed version of the story.

I know that I had a direct discussion with the current content czar at AnnArbor.com about how we should make those documents available to our readers when we were first discussing how to use the Internet in the early 2000s.

Other reporters had similar suggestions, but what we heard back at the time is that MLive.com was not set up to do that kind of thing. The Michigan Booth group suffered, and continues to suffer, from the limitations of MLive.com and the fact that they can't, or won't, do the kind of linking and attachments that you find on other more sophisticated newspaper websites.

So the same ideas many of us were suggesting back then contributed to a Pulitzer at the Times this week.

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