Dan Kennedy wins National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism
Below are the 10 pieces for which Kennedy was honored.
Fidelity's Last Stand
February 2, 2000
A report on Fidelity's Community Newspaper Company, a chain of about 100 newspapers in Greater Boston and Cape Cod that was sinking in a morass of cost-cutting and low morale. Later in the years, Fidelity finally sold its newspapers to Boston Herald owner Pat Purcell -- and Kennedy's expertise on both CNC and the Herald made him a sought-out guest for radio and television reporters trying to make sense of the deal.
The Love Bus
February 18, 2000
With the Republican campaign for the presidency heading fora final showdown in South Carolina, Kennedy traveled to the Palmetto State to watch the candidates -- and the media -- up close. He found that the media's infatuation with John McCain was not fully justified by the senator's let's-plya-favorites behavior, and the George W. Bush was more accessible than the press often gave him credit for.
The Big Dig Misconception
March 3, 2000
When the public learned that the Big Dig was several billion dollars over budget, the story looked like a classic battle between the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. As Kennedy demonstrated, thought, the story was really being driven by the Wall Street Journal, which was not hampered as the local papers by the need to play nice with local sources.
Let Us Prey
March 24, 2000
The early stages of the 2000 presidential campaign were marked by an unprecedented degree of religion rhetoric, eschewed only by Democratic candidate Bill Bradley. Kennedy looked at how the candidates' exploitation of religion, and the media's complicity, was creating a dangerous atmosphere.
April 14, 2000
With Boston Globe editorial-page editor David Greenway preparing for retirement, Kennedy assessed his reign and sized up four possible contenders. He identified deputy editorial-page editor Renee Loth as the leading candidate, and she was, in fact, chose several weeks later. A sidebar identified some innovative ways for rethinking the traditional editorial and op-ed pages.
May 5, 2000
Boston Herald consumer and transportation columnist Robin Washington was demoted, and nearly lost his job, following a series of tough pieces he wrote about the financial behemoth FleetBoston, a major advertiser. Kennedy dug beneath the surface and found that the story wasn't as simple as it appeared. It turned out that Washington had been punished only after voicing his complaints to a friend at Editor & Publisher, which prompted a call to the Herald's top editors by an E&P reporter. It also turned out that Washington, on one occasion, had used ethically dubious reporting techniques. The real issue, Kennedy concluded, was not whether Washington had been inappropriately punished (he was eventually restored to his position), but whether all of the Boston media were willing to subject mighty Fleet to the tough scrutiny that it deserved.
June 16, 2000
With the Internet stock bubble beginning to burst, and with pioneering Webzines such as salon elimination positions, Kennedy examine the notion that Internet media was the route to unimagined riches. He found that small, nonprofit or barebones journalism drive by passion and vision was doing just fine, and that the fault lay not in the medium, but in greed.
No News is Bad News
August 4, 2000
Holed up in Philadelphia for the Republican National Convention, Kennedy took issue with the conventional wisdom that there was no news to report. The news, Kennedy wrote, was the profound alienation that the public felt regarding the political process. All the press had to do to find it, he added, was get outside.
The Image Makers
October 20, 2000
With violence flaring once again in the Middle East, Kennedy took the media to task for promoting the idea of "moral equivalence" - the notion that, with Palestinians attacking and Israelis defending themselves, both sides were somehow to blame for the breakdown of the peace process. The culprit: a simplistic media environment in which the news was defined by photographs and video clips rather than rational analysis.
Gone to the Dogs
October 27, 2000
The dispiriting presidential campaign was winding down and the media were revolting - epitomized, Kennedy wrote, by a Newsweek spread on an allegedly typical undecided family, with the most intelligent lines assigned to the dog. Kennedy criticized the media for whining petulantly about voter discontent rather than examine its causes: the role of money, the decline of political parties, and a primary system deliberately designed to reward the blandest, most centrist candidates.