The Portland Phoenix's seven-years-and-counting series by
Lance Tapley on torture in Maine's prison, most especially including
conditions in solitary confinement, has gotten national recognition in
an article that's part of the Columbia Journalism Review's most recent cover package on "race, class, and the media."
The whole package is well worth a read, including pieces on improving coverage in an America that has changed well beyond what the mainstream media represents, and using data to find crime - and prosecution - trends. The specific article talking about the Phoenix's series
is by James Ridgeway, a longtime reporter who has spent most of the
past three years covering prisons. He is also co-founder of SolitaryWatch, which specifically covers solitary confinement around the US. (Its tagline is "news from a nation in lockdown.")
The piece holds up the Phoenix as
one of a handful of publications that have persevered at prison
reporting, even in the face of official resistance - which is common,
and often strong.
We are, as you might expect, very proud of our
work and of Lance Tapley's dedication to, and persistence at, shining
lights into these terribly dark places - oft-hidden wings of buildings
that are themselves frequently placed out of the way and off-limits to
Ridgeway's piece on covering solitary confinement - and an accompanying piece by Beth Schwartzapfel on prison coverage generally
- offers a great deal of national context about the challenges faced by
those who seek truth in those places where government power is
exercised most directly, and most severely. We are honored to be among
those recognized in this national forum.
From the archives:
READ: Lance Tapley on Maine's prisons, 2005-2012 READ: More by Lance Tapley
READ: Lance Tapley on Maine's prisons, 2005-2012
READ: More by Lance Tapley