Aug 30, 2009

Investigative Journalism Cost Mucho $$$?


Dr. Anna Pou (Photo: Lee Celano for The New York Times)

The NYT's magazine is reporting in today's Sunday edition, as reported by MotherJones.com, that "Dr. Anna Pou and other medical personnel at New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital, euthanized patients after the hospital was flooded [by Hurricane Katrina], supplies ran out, and the staff struggled to treat scores of patients who were not evacuated."

I felt naive by not knowing the cost of collecting information and reporting this real life death panel in action was quite expensive. Here's the itemized bill:

2 years of reporting by a staff writer, full-time: 200k
Editing for that period by 2 ProPublica editors: 30k
Lawyering hours at ProPublica: 20K
Editing hours at the Times magazine over past year (from me to copy editors, 5 editors in all involved): 40k
Times fact-checking: 10k
Photography fees plus expenses: 40k
Times lawyering fees: 20k
Web and Web graphic costs at both the Times and ProPublica: 10k
Cost of adding 6 pages to the feature well to accommodate story: 24k

Total: 394k

Go here for the full article over at motherjones. com. I'm going to meditate on this and get right back to ya.

Good people, as you know, I welcome your thoughts.

4 comments:

lelocolon said...

Here again, it sounds to me that the New York Times wants to justify all their ineffectiveness in covering the news during the Bush Regime. This is one of the problems with commercial Journalism. Their interest is always matching their profits. They do not like to cover news that put their profits at a possible lost. The good thing about it is that nowadays with the Internet, reporting comes at a much less expensive rate, and it is done strictly to serve and from the public interest. The internet is forcing all these News papers, to speed up and to actively search and document news. Hospital killing patients during Katrina is not the only news that the NYT neglected to cover, because they were more worried about their cash returns. I will even go as far as to say that now exposing this news comes as another distraction against Health Care Reform. You Put the words “Euthanasia” and “Hospital” as a head Liner, You are going to get GOPers running to distort with their sick agenda. The New York Times is full of shit. Mind you it is not that I don’t think that this need to be exposed. What I am saying is that here again the New York Times elite thinks that they can fool the readers to pity them in their useless attempt to report on news affecting the public, and not their bank accounts.

lelocolon said...

By the way thanks for the heads up great post.

Kitty said...

Is she the same doctor that denied killing patients a couple of years ago or is this a different doctor? I have to read the article but investigative journalism costs major money which is why newspapers try to avoid doing it as much as possible and go for nonsense and fluff instead.

libhom said...

I suspect this means that we will have to support the burgeoning nonprofit investigative journalism in this country if we want to have any idea about what is actually going on.