Member News (2/7/19): Pilot reproter confirms Northam photo; RTD launches a new newsletter; WaPo airs Super Bowl ad

By |2019-02-07T19:26:25+00:00February 7th, 2019|
Pilot reporter one of the first to confirm Gov. Northam’s 1984 yearbook photo
Gordon Rago, an enterprise and digital reporter for the Virginian-Pilot, was one of the first reporters to confirm the photo in Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
After the conservative website Big League Politics first reported about the photo, Rago drove to EVMS and confirmed that the racist photo in Gov. Northam’s yearbook was real. Rago talked with fellow reporter Marie Albiges about finding the photo in a recent episode of the Daily Press podcast Virginia Politics.
According to the interview, everything began Friday afternoon in the Pilot’s newsroom after an editor saw a Twitter post from Big League Politics that contained the photo. That’s when Rago was sent to EVMS’s campus, which is a three-minute drive from the Pilot’s offices, to find the yearbook.
He flipped through yearbooks from earlier in the 1980s before being able to look through the 1984 yearbook, which a library staffer had already pulled because of media requests.
“I immediately started flipping through it at their desk and got to page 105 and there it was,” Rago said in the interview. “There was no doubt that the photo was legit.”
“It’s pretty crazy to think that this yearbook was just sitting there for anyone’s taking,” Rago said.
RTD launches new newsletter about education

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has launched a new weekly newsletter about education.

The first edition of the newsletter, “High Stakes,” was published this past Monday. RTD education reporter, Justin Mattingly, will serve as the lead writer for the newsletter. It will be published each Monday.

In the introduction to readers, Mattingly said “High Stakes” will have a “recap of the previous week in education, a look ahead to the coming week and some fun stuff in between.”

“There are 1.3 million public school students and another 521,000 in colleges and universities relying on an education system that prepares them adequately,” Mattingly wrote. “This newsletter will tell the story of how that education is happening, but I can’t do it without your help.”

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Washington Post airs Super Bowl ad

The Washington Post aired a multi-million-dollar ad during the Super Bowl that honored reporters who have lost their lives and also revisted historic moments in American history–the Oklahoma City bombing, the Selma march and others– through a myriad of photographs and video.

The 60-second ad was narrated by Tom Hanks and used the tagline, “knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free.”

Two journalists who lost their lives were honored in the ad: Jamal Khashoggi, a former columnist for The Post, who was killed on Oct. 2, 2018; and Marie Colvin, a journalist for the Sunday Times, who lost her life in 2012. The ad also honored freelance journalist Austin Tice, who was been missing in Syria since 2012.