Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charlie LeDufff Has Left the Building

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff has resigned from The Detroit News. Mr. LeDuff reportedly intends to work as a freelance writer while he continues to weigh his options. Mayor Dave Bing and many others who hold political power in Detroit have complained that Mr. LeDuff never showed the good news about Detroit.

Charlie LeDuff
Instead, Charlie LeDuff reported on other things. He reported on ambulances that didn't arrive when they were desperately needed. He reported on the homeless man who was found dead in an abandoned building and the man who hunts raccoons to supplement his meager income.

It is doubtful that any of the people in power will miss Mr. LeDuff's presence at The Detroit News. I, in stark contrast, will miss him dearly.

One of the great tragedies in Detroit is the state of local journalism. The overwhelming number of "reporters" at the various media outlets worry about being denied "access" to one politician or another. As a result, they are downright timid when it comes to their reporting.

Mr. LeDuff instead seems to prefer the style of Finley Peter Dunne; a man who proclaimed a mission to, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." In my opinion, both the city of Detroit and the entire profession of journalism would be in much better shape if there were a few more Charlie LeDuffs around.

I do not know where Mr. LeDuff's career will take him next. I pray, however, it keeps him in Detroit and focused on Detroit.
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