All of the fake news in the political arena has overshadowed great journalism. That point was driven home twice recently.
There is an article in the Atlantic titled What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane. It’s the most detailed look at the crash of MH370 I’ve read by far. The first thing the article does is dispassionately describe all the facts that are known so far. How novel. There’s probably some simplification and irrelevant details left out but what’s there is coherent story telling that ties all of the various timelines together giving the reader an absolutely clear idea of what happened.
There is a terrific human interest story about a researcher named Blaine Gibson. What this does is allow all of the theories surrounding the disappearance to be told through the eyes of a third party. Rather than the reporter opining that something is true or false, Gibson does it which makes the article more interesting and more credible.
The amount of detail in the article is fascinating and the author went to great lengths to be complete. This was certainly not a piece of “drive by journalism.”
There are the thoughts of the author in the piece but it’s totally clear when it’s his opinion and gives us additional insight into his thoughts after spending a great deal of time researching the piece. I thought the last paragraph was particularly good.
The important answers probably don’t lie in the ocean but on land, in Malaysia. That should be the focus moving forward. Unless they are as incompetent as the air force and air traffic control, the Malaysian police know more than they have dared to say. The riddle may not be deep. That is the frustration here. The answers may well lie close at hand, but they are more difficult to retrieve than any black box. If Blaine Gibson wants a real adventure, he might spend a year poking around Kuala Lumpur.
Another terrific journalist is my friend Daniel J. Gross. Well, actually Dan would probably recognize my name 4 out of 7 times. While Dan was a crime reporter for the The Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), he decided to write convicted serial killer Todd Kohlhepp and ask him whether there were any more bodies.
“Yes there is more than seven,” Kohlhepp wrote in an eight-page letter to the Herald-Journal dated Nov. 28. “I tried to tell investigators and I did tell FBI, but it was blown off.”
This ultimately led to convicting Kohlepp in the Super Bike quadruple homicide.
Should you be so inclined, you can learn a lot more on Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer season 2, episode 7 on Netflix.