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October 11, 2005

October 11th Tribune Review

In Chapter 6, "Monitor Power and Offer Voice to the Voiceless,” Kovach and Rosenthal consider the independent monitoring of power by journalists to be a fundamental principle of their craft. As discussed in class, its sensational form which “afflicts the comfortable,” distorts its intended purpose of making governmental affairs more transparent. Two articles in the October 11th edition of the Tribune Review, show the power of investigative reporting.

The first, "GTECH attorney tied to Rendell," reveals that, Ken Jarin, one of the partners in the firm where Governor Rendell worked prior to becoming governor, represented GTECH in contract negations with the state. The state Department of Revenue awarded GTECH a contract worth an annual $6.3 million to construct and maintain a monitoring system for the state’s 61,000 slot machines. Coincidentally, Jarin is a big Rendell contributor as well as the Democratic Governor’s Association treasurer. Coincidentally, too, GTECH, less than a week after being awarded the contract, gave $50,000 to the governor’s association. The article is fair in indicating that although GTECH has given $481,267 to the association since 2000, it has contributed $169,000 to a similar Republican organization. What is unusual about this contract, is that the state did not go through its usual “procurement process.”

Another form of “watchdog” reporting, I believe, is more hands on and personal. This story, "Police beating victim baffled," concerns two police officers who were video taped beating a hand-cuffed, 64 year-old man while a third officer roughed up an Associated Press Television News producer.

Police brutality occurs through out the world. I was visiting Beijing with my daughter a decade ago, when we witnessed a tall, Chinese man in a black suit, dragging a man by the collar with one hand; while hitting him in the face with the other. The thing that astounded me was that none of the passers by even looked. That could just as easily have happened in our country, but someone would have reported it. In my opinion, that’s what sets our country and our news media a part.

Posted by NancyGregg at October 11, 2005 9:39 PM


Nancy, you truly are an incredible writer. You really take everything you can, not only out of this article, but it seems EVERY ARTICLE! I think that if this was a field you are really interested in, that you would be great at it. Your facts that you took out of the article about the state and GTECH are remarkable. My only question is, if this is an editorial feature, then what other purpose does this have besides informing? You probably know the answer to this and I'm not seeing it, but I just wanted to at least ask. But honestly, keep up your good work, it actually is motivating others (insert cough). :)

Posted by: Jason Pugh at October 12, 2005 10:09 AM

Jason, first of all, thanks for the complement. I would like to reciprocate. You have a drive and determination that makes me think you will succeed in what ever you do. Secondly, I think you're being facetious; that article was a "watchdog" article.

Posted by: NancyGregg at October 12, 2005 10:45 PM