"This afternoon I was urgently dispatched to cover a press conference at City Hall. It turned out that a couple of Philadelphia journalists had accomplshed what an entire city and state bureaucracy could not. Two digging Inquirer reporters learned that the city's Department of Human Services wasn't doing its job -- not very well, at least -- and as many as 20 children had died. As a result of the article, the agency head and a top deputy lost their jobs, and a reform effort is now underway.
Mayor John Street had nothing but praise for the reporters and the article that had touched off this chain reaction. Said the mayor: 'One of the things that makes our society a great society is a free press.'
But just minutes before that news conference, Brian Tierney, the CEO of the group that bought the Daily News and the Inquirer just this summer, was announcing that another round of job cuts at the newspapers is all but inevitable. That means fewer reporters in Philadelphia doing fewer investigative reports like this one -- reports that may actually save the lives of a few battered children down the road."
Monday, October 23, 2006