Spring 1998

Watchdog, Attack Dog, or Lapdog?

This issue on Watchdog Journalism originated with a call by Murrey Marder, the retired Washington Post Diplomatic Correspondent, for a return to more aggressive, but responsible, reporting. The package begins with two articles on the media's handling of the accusations that President Clinton had an improper sexual relationship with Monica S. Lewinsky. Excerpts from a seminar by Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, follow. Then we offer position papers on the status of watchdog journalism in four areas—the economic sector, state and local government, national security and nonprofit organizations.

Editors Without Backbone
They Are Responsible for Letting Rumors Run Amuck In Coverage of the Clinton-Lewinsky Story
By John Herbers
Where Are the Stories Behind the Leaks?
By James S. Doyle
Two Stories Seymour Hersh Never Wrote
By Seymour M. Hersh
The Economic Sector
Is Anything Really Wrong?
By Richard Parker
Response: Demystify the Subject
By Paul Solman
Response: What About Corporate Crime?
By Morton Mintz
Response: Help Is Available
By Eileen Shanahan
State & Local Governments
For State and Local Government, The Key Is Sufficient Resources
By Joyce Purnick
Misappropriation of Public Resource
By Arthur Kent
TV Journalists Should Take Responsibility
Comments from two participants of the November 6, 1997, forum of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, held in Chicago
By Patricia Dean and Frank Magid
Response: Make Enterprise Reporting An Ongoing Part of Newspapers Mission
By Anthony Marro
Response: What's Often Missing Is Desire
By Melanie Sill
Response: Eye Always on Bureaucracies
By David Burnham
National Security
On National Security, Five Ways to Respond to Restraints
By Daniel Schorr
Response: an 'Unbridgeable Divide'
By Philip Taubman
Response: Narratives and Analysis
By Carla Anne Robbins
For America's Nonprofit Sector, The Watchdog Seldom Barks
By George Rodrigue
A Dozen Tips for Stories About Nonprofits
By George Rodrigue
Types of Nonprofits
Response: Document Activities
By David Hall
Response: Check on Creative Accounting
By John Crewdson
Response: It's Easier to Be Passive
By Paul Delaney
Response: Avoid Close Relations
By Janet Wilson
Not Black, Not White, It's American History
By Orlando Bagwell
The Journalist's Trade
The ACLU and the Tobacco Companies
By Morton Mintz
The Need for Expert Education Reporters
Harvard President Calls for Better Training—Asks About 'Credentialing' Journalists
He Saw Folly of Racism Through Prism of Humor
By Sander Vanocur
The Fred Friendly Impact
By Eileen McNamara
Falling Into the Fault Line Chasm
By Dori J. Maynard
Alternate Forms of Transportation
Inspecting Road Sites
When Is More Less?
And on Whitewater...
On the Web, Speed Instead of Accuracy
By Tom Regan