Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things to watch and read

Some recommended reading and viewing this week:

My friends Jason Maloney and Kira Kay -- aka The Bureau for International Reporting -- were in Haiti when the earthquake struck, and one of the pieces they were working on aired recently on PBS' NOW and can now be seen online. It's a powerful piece on giving birth in a very poor place, and how little attention maternal health gets on the international "development agenda." Needless to say, one fears for how things will play out in Haiti post-quake.

Harper's has been a little too predictable for my taste of late, but the current issue has a chilling investigative piece exposing an apparent cover-up of the slaying of prisoners at the U.S. detention facility on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A disturbing expose on how the Pentagon and Central Intelligence cover their tracks....poorly.

Here in Maine, the Lewiston Sun Journal published a tough, thoroughly researched piece revealing how our hospitals have been lavishly compensating their CEOs, even as they cry poor. Oh, and Lewiston-based Central Maine Health Care turns out to have an offshore subsidiary in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes and transparency. This is the sort of no-b.s. watchdog journalism our daily newspapers should be doing week in and week out, but sadly don't. Kudos to reporter Lindsay Tice and her editors.

In a similar vein -- although it took much less digging -- the Bangor Daily News yesterday published this no-nonsense article on how Fraser paper paid its executives massive bonuses as the company went down the tubes. Aren't these things supposed to be tied to the company's performance? Odd how it looks more like looting.

If Richard Connor over at the Portland Press Herald is wondering how to make his papers relevant again, perhaps he should read these pieces.

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