July 14, 2010

Who Really Matters

Jim Dwyer won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1995 for his work as a local columnist for Newsday. Today he is a local columnist for The New York Times.

It is inaccurate to say that Dwyer writes about New York City. He writes about the people who live there and their interactions with the city. He tells their stories. He is able to do this because he’s an old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporter who bothers to get out of the office and into the streets.

How do I know this? Read his work. It’s right there in the words — words you can’t get poking around on the internet or resting on your laurels (or supposed expertise). Recall what I wrote earlier:

…opinion journalism well done is all about caring about the community. It is all about being connected to the community. It is all about well-worn shoe leather and familiar faces. It’s all about visibility and transparency. The good opinion journalist is the person you meet for coffee to discuss her latest column. The opinion journalist is the one who listens (when reporters and editors too often do not). In other words, opinion journalism well done is all about the very things that are apparently important in the new media environment.

Dwyer’s work represents excellent opinion journalism based on reporting and personal experience with the people whose stories he tells.

Dwyer has a point of view and an agenda that is plain to see: He challenges what he believes to be injustice, waste, and corruption.

Check out his columns. Coming next: A close analysis of a Dwyer column.

One Response

  1. Well written article…..gives me something to think about, though I dont agree with some of the views…..