Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Did you catch the special report on the “29 Stalker”
Were any of you able to read Pam Gould’s special report on the “29 Stalker?”
I have read a quarter of it and plan to read the rest of it tonight during another boring Monday Night Football matchup. Pam’s work office is in front of me. When I first came to the FLS in November 2006, there was this sign on the office window. Well, it is still there. It states: “Pam will be using this office for the next month to finish up a project, so please use the other conference room for meetings. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Funny that 12 months later, she still has boxes littering the room, and the series just published Sunday. I was a bit shy here at first, and just wanted to get to work. It took me six months before I even got an idea of what Pam was working on. Even Pam, when the special report neared an end, was a bit vague with me on what it was about. She gave me the basics, enough to spark my interest. I was going to have to wait and read it in the paper like everyone else.
She spent 18 months on this investigation. That’s really unheard of for newspapers today, especially for ones this size. I’ve read so many articles about how investigative journalism has become expendable in newsrooms across America because the industry is struggling. Any effort I put into watchdog journalism is juggled with the other mundane reporting that comes on the government beats. A nonprofit called Pro Publica established just to try and keep investigative journalism alive in America. That group will start work in January, and it plans to feed newsrooms investigative stories written by some of the top investigative journalists in the industry. They will tackle big and small stories that have the most effect on the readers.
But there’s a commitment here at FLS to support watchdog journalism.
Pam’s special report is proof. I hope you all find the time to read it.