Friday, March 16, 2012

Followup, followup, followup

I love a good follow-up. There's almost always more to a story than first meets the eye, and if the story is an important one, often there is much more to the story.

Here's some recent follow-ups that caught my interest:

  • Annie Lowrey, a reporter for Slate, got interested in the story of "Why the Lucky Stiff", and has written a fascinating follow-up on his story: Where's _why?
    On Aug. 19, 2009, his personal site stopped loading. He stopped answering email. A public repository of his code disappeared. His Twitter account—gone. Hackety Hack—gone. Dozens of other projects—gone.
    It's a fascinating story, and Lowrey does a great job of following it up and bringing it up to date.

  • Megan Garber, a reporter for The Atlantic, got interested in an epic post that appeared on Quora, and decided to learn more about what inspired and motivated Tim Morgan to write that post: The Story Behind That 9,000-Word Quora Post on Airplane Cockpits.
    In response to the three-sentence Quora question, Morgan, a web developer and private pilot, proceeded to take Quora users -- and anyone else who happened to come across his post -- on an extended journey: through the mechanical workings of the airplane cockpit, through the intricate dance that takes place between pilot and plane, and, in general, through the small miracle of precision and power that makes us fragile little humans able to fly.
    Garber's nice article tracks down Morgan and learns more about who he is and why he took the time to write such an interesting article.

  • Ira Glass, the host and producer of public radio's This American Life, has announced that the show has entirely retracted their episode covering Mike Daisey and the Apple/Foxconn story: Retraction
    Regrettably, we have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated. This week, we devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in "Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory," Mike Daisey’s story about visiting Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in China. Rob Schmitz, a reporter for Marketplace, raises doubts on much of Daisey's story.
    Meanwhile, Daisey responds to the retraction:
    What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations.
    The Apple/Foxconn story is obviously continuing to develop; I'm pleased that journalists around the world are going over it closely, and I'll be watching as the story develops further.

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