The Minneapolis Park Board discrimination story was among many stories published in 2012 that mainstream media either gave little interest or ignored altogether.
We first learned about the problems at the MPRB from a group of Black employees. They agreed to discuss it as long as their identities would not be publicly disclosed. It was a four-month process of meetings at undisclosed locations, along with fact checking every incident or issue the group would bring up. It was the type of investigative reporting that was more than just a gotcha story — it made a difference.
Soon after the story was published in early January, 2012, MPRB officials initiated institutional changes to begin recitfying the longstanding problem.
I strive for exclusitivity on every story I pursue — if I am not successful then at least it will be different than any other media outlet reporting. More importantly, as a veteran journalist, it is what the fourth estate is all about — to pursue the truth with objectivity and fairness.
Other stories we published this year included: school suspensions, income inequality and diversity issues. We interviewed Laila Ali — Muhammad Ali’s daughter who was keynote speaker at a national Title IX conference last May at the University of Michigan. We interviewed the first Black Secret Service agent. We examined the low diversity at Twin Cities television and radio stations, and at local pro teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves.
To paraphrase a Frank Sinatra tune — 2012 was a very good year, and I look forward to 2013 because there always are stories to tell, to report — issues that need examining and highlighted; to inform, enlighten, entertain and enrage.
As always, I appreciate your readership and comments.
Looking back at 2012: If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
2012: My year with TCDP by Morgan Halaska
Creating many ripples: Citizen journalism in 2012 by Robin Sauerwein
Reporting — to inform, enlighten, entertain and enrage by Charles Hallman
Minnesota State Fair: My most memorable 2012 stories by Barb Teed