The Power of Journalism

Steve Fox is my hero.

He’s on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and, last spring, taught an investigative reporting class that looked at heroin usage in Massachusetts. This week, the Boston Globe ran a story reported and written by two of his students that looked at one UMass student who was convinced to become a confidential informant in exchange for not being charged with heroin possession.

The student, who wasn’t required to go through any rehab or treatment program, later died of a heroin overdose.

As a direct result of the reporting by students Eric Bosco and Kayla Marchetti, the University of Massachusetts has announced it is suspending the use of confidential informants.

To Bosco and Marchetti, excellent work – your story was well researched, well reported and well crafted. It dove deeply into a troubling issue and handled it with professionalism and grace. It’s a classic example of the power of journalism.

And to Professor Fox – awesome work guiding and inspiring your students to do something so remarkable.

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