The Washington Post's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, explains why his paper is only now covering the New Black Panther voter intimidation case:
Thursday's Post reported about a growing controversy over the Justice Department's decision to scale down a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. The story succinctly summarized the issues but left many readers with a question: What took you so long?
For months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn't been covering the case. The calls increased recently after competitors such as the New York Times and the Associated Press wrote stories. Fox News and right-wing bloggers have been pumping the story. Liberal bloggers have countered, accusing them of trying to manufacture a scandal.
But The Post has been virtually silent...
The Post didn't cover it. Indeed, until Thursday's story, The Post had written no news stories about the controversy this year. In 2009, there were passing references to it in only three stories...
National Editor Kevin Merida, who termed the controversy "significant," said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said.
Better late than never. There's plenty left to explore.
Jennifer Rubin has more on this story here.