David Cay Johnston, the esteemed investigative reporter whose career has encompassed the San Jose Mercury News, Detroit Free Press, LA Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times, visited the University of South Carolina on Wednesday to speak to students.
Per a report in student newspaper The Gamecock, he reminded the audience that one of the primary reasons there is so much Kardashian coverage is that this type of content is a lot cheaper to manufacture than solid investigative journalism. Johnston also revisited his LA Times piece about city parks:
A published report said 75 of the city’s parks were terrorized. He spent weeks interviewing children in the parks and discovered that many didn’t know Disneyland was only an hour away. Children in Lennox, a city near Los Angeles that sits at the bottom of a hill, didn’t know that if they walked to the top of that hill, they could see the Pacific Ocean. But they did know which streets they could walk on to avoid gangs.
Johnston also has a solid final-check rule. Whenever he is getting ready to put to bed a story that could literally ruin a person’s life, he asks himself the question: “If this were me, and I had done all these things, would I feel that I was treated fairly?”
To read the rest of this newspaper veteran’s very valuable advice, click here.