‘It was covered up the same’: Journalists across America devote entire careers to covering the Catholic Church’s sex scandal

November 27, 2018

“Spotlight” — the movie and the Boston Globe team — may have brought the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal to the forefront. But legions of hard-working local reporters have been on this story for decades, because it never seems to end.

“Whether you’re from Boston or whether you’re from Gallup, there are more abusers out there than anyone ever realized, and it’s all the same. It was covered up the same,” said Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, a religion reporter for The Gallup (New Mexico) Independent. “If media hasn’t devoted the time and the energy to research it, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen there. It just hasn’t been discovered.”

Read our story here.

 

BUSINESS IS BOOMING: “For a remote rural weekly to achieve that kind of journalistic attention, boy, your chest comes out a little farther. There's a little spring in your step the staff is really proud of." — Les Zaitz, a longtime award-winning investigative reporter for The Oregonian and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, who’s now the editor and publisher of the The Malheur (Oregon) Enterprise. The Enterprise is enjoying increased circulation and it has won several national awards.

 

NOT REFLECTIVE: Vox Media’s “Consider It” is a weekly Facebook Watch series “that addresses the pressing social, cultural, and political issues that are of concern to Americans.” This week, it takes on the lack of diversity in American newsrooms — and why that’s a problem.

Related: The 40th ASNE diversity survey revealed disappointing participation — and results. By Poynter’s Doris Truong.

 

BLOCK BLAME: Civil, the blockchain journalism startup, led at least some of the journalists in its 18 newsrooms to believe that its cryptocurrency would be worth double or triple the initial valuations. But a lack of public interest led Civil to cancel its public currency sale in October. That currency was supposed to cover part of reporters’ salaries. Some of them are now feeling squeezed. “Civil can talk all it wants about creating a new future for media, but the reality is it’s being built by putting journalists into debt,” Sludge’s Jay Cassano said in an interview with CoinDesk.

 

CALLED OUT: The head of a large online news site in the Philippines — where 97 percent of internet users are on Facebook — blamed the social network for the rise of Rodrigo Duterte and the violence surrounding his presidency. In an podcast recording with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa said the strongman uses Facebook as “fertilizer” to target and attack anyone he perceives as critical of his policies and appealed to Mark Zuckerberg to fix it. “Move fast, break things,” Ressa said, recalling Facebook’s old mantra for developers. “You can’t break the world.”

 

THE READ: The Implant Files is the latest from the team that brought us The Panama Papers, which won a Pulitzer Prize and involved about 370 journalists across 80 countries. This latest effort from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists takes an international look at the medical device industry. Spoiler: People are in danger. Poynter compiled some links about the story, how it came together and ICIJ’s other efforts.

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