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CNBNews Tips and Snippets: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal plus The Slow Death of Newspapers

 

By William E. Cleary Sr.

CNBNews

 

JpegA GOOD BEACH BOOK—If you are looking for a good summer read, pick up a copy of Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love. The authors of the book are two Philadelphia Daily News investigative reporters, Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker (see video below). The story is based on their investigative series of articles that they wrote for the Daily News in 2009-2010. 

In 2010 Ruderman and Laker won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for that 10-part series, Tainted Justice.

Press release from HarperCollins book publisher:

 

Although Busted reads like a thriller, the breathtaking story it tells—of two journalists' quest to unmask corrupt police officers and a warped justice system, the reporting of which culminated in a Pulitzer Prize—is absolutely true. One afternoon in late 2008, a man walks into the offices of the local tabloid the Philadelphia Daily News and asks to speak with reporter Wendy Ruderman. An imminent casualty of the foundering print industry, the paper is on the brink of bankruptcy, and its anxious staff members are plagued with dwindling resources. But what Benny Martinez tells Wendy and her colleague Barbara Laker is too shocking to ignore; his career as a confidential informant for a member of the Philadelphia Police Department's narcotics squad has drawn him into a horrifying web of corruption, and now he is afraid for his life.

 

PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS VIDEO: Dagma Rodriguez recounts allegedly being fondled by Officer Thomas Tolstoy during an April 2008 raid at her West Kensington home. Read more about her experience with the Philadelphia Police in Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love. 
Video by David Maialetti / Staff Photographer

The decision they make that day to believe Benny's saga will lead the two journalists to uncover a truth darker than they could have imagined. Busted is Ruderman and Laker's riveting account of their explosive investigation into the acts committed by rogue members of the narcotics squad. By dint of perseverance, ingenuity, and good old shoe-leather reporting, the women unravel a tapestry of lies almost six years in the making. Starting with a scheme to fabricate search warrants, the scandal soon encompasses the systematic, citywide looting of immigrant-owned businesses and allegations of brutal sexual assault.

 

THE END OF PRINT MEDIA AS WE KNOW IT—During the entire Tainted Justice series Ruderman and Laker were worried about the possible shutdown of the Philadelphia Daily News. That paper, along with the Philadelphia Inquirer, were in danger of closing because of dwindling advertising and subscriber revenue. Almost every day a newspaper falls victim to that problem. According to the producers of the film series, Black and White, and Dead All Over, a total of 268 newspapers have closed their doors since 2007. (see video below)

On May 27, the feuding owners of Philadelphia's two largest newspapers will vie for the company at a head-to-head auction.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are being sold for the fifth time since 2006, as the industry struggles to stay afloat.

 South Jersey Democrat Political Boss George Norcross, along with wealthy local businessman Lewis Katz led the last purchase in 2012, but soon started fighting over management issues.

 They will now compete at a two-party auction.

 Both Norcross and Katz have pledged minimum bids of $77 million, enough to make their investment partners whole.

 

 

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