Reporters to continue work of slain colleague

Req: A, N, S

Journalists from around the country are vowing to continue investigations into the financial dealings of an Oakland business after local news editor Chauncey Bailey was shotgunned to death a few weeks ago while in the midst of probing the establishment. Bailey was the first journalist since 1993 to be killed in the United States because of his reporting.

According to the Oregon Research Blog, Investigative Reporters and Editors is working with the National Association of Black Journalists, the Maynard Institute and the Center for Investigative Reporting in following up on the story:

IRE is talking and working with NABJ and the Maynard Institute and the Center for Investigative Reporting. The police have moved very quickly on solving Chauncey’s murder and local news organizations have been aggressively following up on the story he was working on.The four groups will be going over the most effective ways to act and making sure we don’t repeat what has already done.

We will be back to the list as soon as possible.

Brant Houston
Executive Director
IRE

Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb has also encouraged local media to take the “opportunity” to continue Bailey’s work. Journalist John Bowman writes that “it’s more than an opportunity. It’s a responsibility; a duty.” Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison says in today’s column that killing a journalist is something “akin to killing a judge or a police officer.”

Comparing private journalists to public servants may sound a bit vain to some, especially given the profession’s low esteem among the citizenry. However, in this case it’s valid.

At their best, journalists are seekers and tellers of the truth — ideally truth that serves the public good by giving people the facts they need to make informed decisions. Chauncey Bailey was not dishing the latest dirt on Paris Hilton or stalking one of the other Hollywood bimbos. He was investigating what he believed was organized crime plaguing his community and going largely ignored by the establishment. This is journalism at its best.

Chauncey Bailey died seeking the truth about possible corruption. And I personally feel better living in a world where, when you kill one such truth seeker, a dozen more rise up to take his place.

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This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.

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