Dan Denvir is a staff writer at the Philadelphia City Paper, shares his opinion at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free and in City Paper’s Hostile Witness column, is a contributing writer at Salon, and his work appears in The Atlantic Cities, VICE, The New Republic & AlterNet.
With support from CPIJ, Denvir attended the 7th Annual Reva & David Logan Investigative Reporting Symposium last month at U.C. Berkeley, and shares some experiences:
Logan 2013 was an incomparable opportunity to hear from and meet investigative journalists around the country and world. My highlights included:
– David Barstow of The New York Times discussed how his work (then at The St. Petersburg Times) uncovering a 14-year old locked up in Florida’s adult prison ultimately caused severe hardship for the young man when he was transferred to a juvenile facility. Other young inmates knew he was coming from an adult lockup, and he became a target for boys wanting to prove their mettle. Barstow‘s talk was a lesson in both the always-unpredictable outcome of investigative journalism (and journalism more generally) and the peril our sources and subjects can face. Proceed with caution.
– ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson discussed his work (with Frontline) exposing horrific elder abuse at nursing homes. Interesting: his defense of showing extraordinarily graphic footage as necessary to convey the full injustice. I think this is something every reporter and editor grapples with on occasion (it certainly came up again after Boston Marathon bombing).
– Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan shared her incredible work on illegal government detention (black jails) in China and how it got her kicked out of China.
Watch Chan’s report: Screams for help at China’s secret ‘black jails’ – 27 Apr 09