On November 24, after nine months of investigative work, the New York Times published a huge front page story raising questions about possible corruption and murder within the St. Johns County, FL Sheriff's department. Here's how the local paper there, the St. Augustine Record, responded:
NYT Reporter: No Regrets About Writing Story
With this subhed:
O'Connell death investigation story complicated and required documents, time
With this lede:
St. Augustine made national news more than a week ago when the New York Times published its investigative report into the 2010 death of Michelle O'Connell.
Subsequent reaction hasn't just been outrage over the investigation, but also at the Times. After all, the New York Times is, to many, the quintessential example of big media. Some wondered afterward if the first loser in all this was St. Augustine, a victim of big media parachuting into a small town and just getting the pulse wrong.
With this analysis:
Florida is "a good place to do reporting and get records," [NYT reporter Walt Bogdanich] said.Bogdanich had never been to St. Augustine until the O'Connell assignment. He said he spent time in St. Augustine off and on for nine months to do his investigative reporting. He said he got to know many in the community and made some good friends.
"Everyone knows everyone else. Living in New York, that is kind of different to us," he said. "The people were so welcoming and so friendly."
One office that he was not able to befriend was the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Huh, so this reporter does not regret publishing this Pulitzer-quality investigative story (which you, the local paper, did not uncover) even though it was "complicated," and he couldn't "befriend" the sheriff he was accusing of covering up a murder? Huh.
Great work, you fucking yokels.
[Pic via Flickr. St. Augustine is my hometown.]