Brian Rooney, the former Los Angeles correspondent for ABC News (for 23 years), is now doing The Rooney Report, "a daily email digest of important news and interesting stories for people who don't have time to keep up. Just $10 a year, 365 days. We have no advertising, no annoying pop-ups. It's brief, to the point, with a side of dry humor. If you know what's in the Report, you'll know enough to keep up your end of the conversation at dinner." It grew out of the daily email he would send his college daughter. Today's offerings seem to include items on the UN weapons agreement, a Mumbai apartment collapse and the hunt for Britain's suspected "white widow" terrorist.
The website makes older stories and items available to non-subscribers. One of those from last week, after the shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard, is called The Worst Work of Journalism. The lede:
Today at least a hundred reporters are doing the worst work of journalism. They are making phone calls and knocking on the doors of spouses, family, and friends of the 12 people killed yesterday in that shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard. This is when reporters are dismissed as ambulance chasers, vultures, and ghouls, but I never met a reporter on stories like this who didn’t want to be someplace else.
Journalism requires that you give a victim of murder a face and a voice. People should know who they were and what they did with their lives, so they know what a terrible thing the murderer did. It seems strange that this process needs to be repeated, but otherwise the dead are just numbers. To show them as human requires reporters to knock on the door, a moment that makes you want to be sick every time.