The Duke Case.--

If bloggers were eligible for Pulitzer Prizes for journalism (they aren't unless their blogs are hosted on newspaper sites), I would nominate Brooklyn Professor KC Johnson, who blogs at Cliopatria and Durham-in-Wonderland, for his coverage of the Duke case. No self-respecting journalist would think of writing anything long and evaluative on the Duke case without first checking the "blog of record," Durham-in-Wonderland.

Those of us who have been following Johnson's staggeringly insightful analyses of developments in the case can't wait for his book on the hoax, which I heard will be co-authored with the brilliant Stuart Taylor.

Although the deadline for postmarked nominations for the Pulitzer's passes in a couple days, I wonder whether anyone has thought of nominating the Duke student newspaper, the Duke Chronicle. Perhaps (if KC Johnson's assessments of the quality of their work is accurate) they might merit a shared Pultizer along with the best of the MSM reporters, Joseph Neff, of the News and Observer. Johnson assesses the Duke Chronicle's work:

Few people any longer are defending the print media's coverage of the lacrosse case. In a recent edition of CNN's Realiable Sources, CNN and Washington Post media correspondent Howard Kurtz termed the event an "absolutely awful performance by the media, pumping this into a big national melodrama." Christine Brennan, a reporter for USA Today, agreed that it was "an awful performance, an embarrassing time, I think, for journalism . . . I think some people lost their minds in this story."

One general exception to this pattern exists: the college media. The journalists of the Duke Chronicle have provided more, and better, investigating reporting on the case than every reporter in the country combined except for Joe Neff. . . .

Add to these articles the paper's regular coverage, first-rate commentary from columnists Kristin Butler, David Kleban, and Stephen Miller, and prescient editorials on Nifong and the Group of 88's statement (among others)—and the Chronicle's performance over the past ten months has been remarkable.

In fact, compare the Chronicle's coverage to that of the New York Times on this case, but remove the mastheads from the two papers. I suspect that most people would guess that the Times, with its (until recently) simplistic, one-sided articles and commentary was the college newspaper, and the Chronicle's work was that of the country's paper of record.

RKV (mail):
Kurtz and others of his ilk, may "tut-tut" and point fingers. The M$M will just find another opportunity to repeat their miserable performance. Why? Scandal sells, not accuracy. If the M$M was going to improve, Rathergate, CNN's cooperation with Baathist Iraq, and so on would have resulted in fundamental change. Not going to happen until consumers take their business elsewhere.
1.30.2007 8:31am
AMac (mail):
No self-respecting journalist would think of writing anything long and evaluative on the Duke case without first checking the "blog of record," Durham-in-Wonderland.
Given the disgraceful conduct of so many reporters in supporting prosecutorial misconduct and campus railroading, I'll take this sentence with a side of irony, please. Or perhaps I can pensively write a letter of support for a Pulitzer nomination for New York Times ace Duff Wilson or another member of his rush-to-judgment herd?
1.30.2007 10:25am

the brilliant Stuart Taylor

Four words I have never seen together before.
1.30.2007 12:59pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I don't believe non-commercial papers, which I take the Chronicle to be, are eligible for Pulitzers.

It's a tainted award anyway, and particularly ironic that you suggest presenting it in this case, since, as we know from the No Gun Ri hoax, the selection board explicitly asserts that it makes no effort to determine whether nominated stories were accurate.
1.30.2007 1:55pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Perhaps some enterprising bloggers could join together to award the anti-Pulitzers? These would be awarded to the worst coverage in various categories. The competition would be tough, and wading through the nominations time consuming and daunting, but I bet it could be done.

Maybe the Rather Prize is a more name fitting than the anti-Pulitzer.
1.30.2007 4:21pm
Tareeq (www):

It's a tainted award anyway

The Walter Duranty estate doesn't think so.
1.30.2007 6:45pm
"an awful performance, an embarrassing time, I think, for journalism"

And that narrows it down to... uh... Oh, it doesn't narrow it down at all.

Actually, I guess it does narrow it down some... it's only embarassing when they get CAUGHT.
1.31.2007 12:26pm