NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 15, 2014

Big stories often start in small newsrooms

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow opened her show the other night with a rare admission for a broadcast journalist: “We really depend on local newspapers.”

Maddow went on to praise the local reporters who doggedly pursue stories that turn into national news when bigger papers, TV stations and networks take notice.

“Anytime you see a story on national TV that starts in a small town, odds are that story began with local reporters who would not give up and who reported it right and aggressively ...

“And so it is with today’s bombshell news about the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the world’s busiest bridge and the manufactured traffic jam that choked the little town of Fort Lee. That story started with the local newspaper, The Record of Bergen County.”

Maddow then introduced the reporter who broke the Christie story for The Record: Shawn Boburg.

Shawn got his start with The Daily News of Newburyport’s sister paper, The Eagle-Tribune, and ran up an impressive record as a reporter before moving on to The Record in 2006.

He was one of the lead reporters on The Eagle-Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the drowning deaths of four boys in the Merrimack River in December 2002. A photo of Shawn and other staffers gathered at Columbia University to collect the prize is on my office wall.

Shawn also helped produce a string of investigative reports for The Eagle-Tribune, demonstrating the same resourcefulness and persistence that resulted in the Christie “bombshell.”

One was an expose of the epidemic of auto insurance fraud in Lawrence, reported and written with Mark E. Vogler and Marjory Sherman. That won a national Society of Professional Journalists Public Service Award.

Another was a series on chronic teacher absenteeism in public schools across the North of Boston region, a problem that robbed students of important learning time and cost schools hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans