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Name: Georganna Hancock
Location: San Diego, California, United States

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Writing Dangerously

Writing can be dangerousOn August 2, 2007, veteran newsman Chauncey Bailey was shot dead as he walked to work Thursday in Oakland, CA. He was reporter for the Oakland Tribune until recently named editor of the Oakland Post, the largest black newspaper in Northern California. The shooting seemed to be a contract killing, although there is no obvious motive, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some reports called Bailey's writing "controversial" and that he used "aggressive questioning" when interviewing politicians.

Reporting news is known for it's element of risk. I was a child of the civil rights movement and the championing attitude carried over into my career. This showed in my selection of stories to cover (when on my own) and the people I interviewed and photographed. It was no surprise when opposition appeared in the community, but I didn't expect the newsroom to prove a dangerous place. An editor challenged my coverage selection by saying, "Well, I guess that makes you a goddamn nigger-lover!" A few years later another editor was severely beaten, again in the newsroom, after exposing underworld ties to local business and politics.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Matthew C. Keegan said...

I heard about Bailey's murder just this morning. I agree: it does sound like an execution. How terrible!

Speaking the truth sometimes means you pay the price. But, not speaking out about an egregious problem can only make matters worse in the long run.

I feel for his family and co-workers.

2:47 PM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

I had not heard this. Dang, our country is getting too violent.

For too many years after 9/11 the media soft pedalled "bad" new and that was truly terrible. I took communications my first time through college and I used to believe journalist had ethics. Now I think newspaper writers have the most honest stories as opposed to CNN , MSNBC and Fox News.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Marijke Durning said...

How frightening. I hadn't heard about that. How sad and frightening. :-(

7:42 AM  

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