Community Picks: Top Stories
NewsTrust is a site for and by its community, and we love nothing more than to promote stories submitted and rated by our citizen reviewers. Last week we departed from our tradition of doing a News Hunt on a particular topic, and instead focused on the great journalism surfaced by our community. Our goal was to look at what our members found to be the week's best stories on the Web, for all topics. We rated a total of 76 stories -- 53 news and 23 opinion -- from a balanced assortment of mainstream and independent sources.
In a week that was somewhat slow for national news, most of our top news stories were special reports and analysis. Many dealt with issues directly related to the economic recession, while others covered topics less prominent in daily news. Our top opinion was even broader in its scope of topics -- too broad to make any generalizations based on what our community submitted. Still, our members posted several highly rated opinions that were more than just punditry.
Below is a sampling of our top community picks -- each of the following was reviewed by at least five of our trusted members:
- How could 9,000 business reporters blow it? – The top rated news story of the week, from Mother Jones: A former Wall Street Journal writer's assessment of how a combination of forces and interests led the financial media to under-report or ignore developments that eventually led to last fall's economic crisis. Patricia L'Herrou called it "a very good, comprehensive summary with many facts and figures to illustrate and explain why and how this world's economic crisis was almost overlooked."
- Canadian oil sands – National Geographic offers a vivid report on the environmental, economic and personal impact of mining Alberta's bitumen-laced sands.
- All boarded up -- How Cleveland is dealing with mass housing foreclosure – A New York Times Magazine piece, this special report looks at the housing crisis in Cleveland. It highlights the actions of a city councilor and other concerned citizens who are grappling with the foreclosure of some 10,000 homes over two years.
- Dealing with Hamas: Can the U.S. avoid it much longer? – Time's Tony Karon suggests that it may be time for the Obama Administration to engage Hamas in Middle East peacemaking measures.
- Wall street on the Tundra – A special report from Vanity Fair on Iceland's economic ruin.
- Cash Bar – Dahlia Lithwick's biting analysis of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving judicial bias.
- Jon Stewart rips into CNBC – Top rated opinion of the week, from Comedy Central: The Daily Show's John Stewart pulls from more than two years worth of CNBC financial reporting to show that the networks pundits were repeatedly wrong in their predictions about the economic crisis. "John Stewart is the best media critic in the country," said Dan Kennedy in his review.
- Iran, the Jews and Germany – New York Times columnist Roger Cohen faults his critics for what he calls "caricatures" of Iranian society and government.
- Zero tolerance now – In Israel's Haaretz, two American NGO directors oppose settlement expansion in the West Bank.
- One in 31 U.S. adults are behind bars, on parole or probation – Writers from Pew Research recommend new approaches to criminal corrections that could help reduce the country's massive prison population.
For this community picks segment, we called on our members to submit stories they thought deserved to be featured on NewsTrust. Many of them stepped up to the plate with five or more submissions. Special thanks goes out to Dwight Rousu, Patricia Blochowiak, Dan Kennedy, Peter Combs, Patricia L'Herrou and Peter Barnett for submitting so actively.
This week: Journalism, with Dan Kennedy
This week, we're focusing on the Future of Journalism. How will news organizations evolve, in light of recent newspaper shutdowns, newsroom cutbacks, the rise of opinion news and amateur journalism? What are the news media doing to engage a new generation of readers through social networks and other online tools? What innovations in new media are pushing the envelope and changing how we consume news? Leading us in this News Hunt is NewsTrust editor and Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy. Help us find great news and opinion on the future of journalism by submitting a story on journalism, or visiting our Journalism Topic Page.