St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has called upon St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon to order an “independent audit of the reporting” for the paper’s high-profile “Jailed by Mistake” investigation. She wrote in a Nov. 26 letter to Bailon that her staff had found “substantial factual errors” in the paper’s conclusion that more than 100 people had been mistakenly jailed for more than 2,000 total days.
BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a correction this week to its “Jailed by Mistake” series, acknowledging that one man it had reported as jailed by mistake had not been behind bars. The correction was included in a Page 1 story by Robert Patrick under the headline, “Man battles to free himself from St. Louis police paperwork glitch.”
BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / Eddie Roth, St. Louis’ Director of Operations and former Post-Dispatch editorial writer, is using his Facebook page to criticize a recent Post-Dispatch series, “Jailed by Mistake.” Roth maintains the series “is premised on ‘facts’ whose accuracy the reporters admittedly have been unable to verify, and that it distorts statements in ways that create a patently false and deeply unfair impression of official indifference.”
BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / Every journalist should read this week’s debate between Bill Keller, the former executive editor of The New York Times, and Glenn Greenwald, who has written stories in The Guardian based on Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA surveillance. The debate is between Keller’s classical brand of impartial, let-the-reader decide journalism and Greenwald’s brand of advocacy journalism where the reporter transparently discloses his beliefs and asserts facts that support those beliefs.
BY WILLIAM FREIVOGEL / Speaking on the second-day of the federal government shutdown, journalist Mark Leibovich said Washington doesn’t work anymore because of media polarization, big money and the celebritization of politicians. He said the media “has made it easy to grandstand” for politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx.
BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / The press doesn’t cover nuance very well, especially when it is covering itself – or when a reporter is more of an advocate than an impartial observer. The recent NSA stories and those about leaks of top-secret information are good examples.
BY WILLIAM H. FREIGVOGEL / Richard Dudman, the former chief Washington correspondent of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, turned 95 on May 3. I don’t believe in heroes, but Richard Dudman is my hero. So many reporters and editors get tired, burned out or cynical. Not Dudman. He never has lost his love for a big story or his intrepid pursuit of the truth in the face of danger. Dudman always kept his suitcase packed so that he could make it to the airport before editors back home had second thoughts about the cost of an international trip.
St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon announced Thursday that they are moving ahead with their previously announced merger plan and that final action by the University of Missouri Board of Curators could come as soon as November.
The merger is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation – combining an NPR affiliate with an online daily news organization.
BY WILLIAM FREIVOGEL / The Missouri Senate fell one vote short of overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would have made it a crime to print the name of a person who owned a gun. The bill also would have made it a crime for Missouri law enforcement officials to enforce federal gun laws thought to violate the Second Amendment.
BY WILLIAM FREIVOGEL / The Missouri Legislature may override a veto next week and enact the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” a bill that virtually reads the First Amendment out of the Constitution. The law makes it a crime to publish a story identifying a person as a gun-owner. The First Amendment isn’t the only part of the Constitution that the bill would ignore. In a throwback to the doctrine of “Nullification” that paved the way for the Civil War, HB 436 would nullify federal gun laws going back to 1934.