5 Journalists (Who Gave Everything for the Story)

Posted on August 06, 2010
Views: 16,505

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisements

The world of journalism is a tumultuous one, and journalists themselves are seen as something of a mixed bag. For every hard hitting Woodward or Bernstein cracking a Watergate, there are seemingly dozens of plagiarists, frauds and crooks. However, there are also those who exemplify the essence of the free press, people who paid the ultimate sacrifice for reporting the truth. Here are five to remember.

1.

Don Harris

Who He Was:

After working his way up from radio to local television, he moved around before getting a job co-hosting a morning TV show. He got his big break when he was promoted to NBC network news, and went to Vietnam. He was literally so untouchable, they started calling him “Mr. Lucky” for his ability to avoid death in the jungle. He even started racking in Emmys and awards for his investigative skills.

don

The Last Story:

Harris went to Georgetown, Guyana, in South America to investigate the Peoples Temple cult at their commune in nearby Jonestown. The People’s Temple, and by extension their leader Jim Jones, were accused of a number of crimes including kidnapping and torture. Harris, along with California congressman Leo Ryan and three NBC employees (Bob Flick, Bob Brown and Steve Sung) went to tour the intentional community.

The Aftermath:

As the group was boarding the plane to leave in nearby Port Kaituma, members of the cult gunned down Harris, Brown, the congressman, a photographer and a defecting temple member. The entire cult residing in Jonestown would commit suicide later that day. The events would spread fears of cult behavior and new religious movements for decades.

don01

2.

Dan Bolles

Who He Was:

After getting his college degree and being so awesome the President of the university gave him an award just for being him, he fought in Korea. When he came back home he parlayed his lack of fear of enemy aircraft into a job taking on the mafia. He began writing for the Arizona Reporter, and developed a reputation because he actually reported the terrible things people were doing. Guess where this is going.

The Last Story:

Bolle’s mob hunting activities got to the point where he started taping the hood of his car to make sure nobody was sabotaging it. Even when he started getting away from investigations in the mid-seventies, he maintained his hardnosed attitude. In fact, he was pursuing a lead in June of ’76 about a shady land deal involving high profile politicians and the mob when he was killed.

dan

The Aftermath:

After waiting for his informant at a local hotel, he returned to his car. A remote controlled bomb, strapped under the driver’s side, exploded once the car was started. Possibly because even Death himself had so much respect for the man, Bolles survived ten days and multiple amputations. Before finally succumbing to his injuries, his final words were: “They finally got me, the Mafia. Emprise. Find John.” Apparently not content with being awesome in life, these last remarks implicated everyone responsible in his death. The John in question, John Harvey Adamson, was found guilty of planting the bomb, though the man who ordered the hit wasn’t imprisoned for decades. An entire gallery in the museum of news and journalism (The Newseum in Washington) is dedicated to Bolles’ work and memory.

3.

Jean Dominique

Who He Was:

Born into Haitian high society (a.k.a. the French), Dominique received an education back in Paris before returning to his homeland. There he helped so many farmers escape economic slavery that the landowners convinced the government to put him jail (apparently that’s a thing). After he got out, he started sticking it to pretty much everybody that deserved it, speaking on the radio in language of the common people. The local language station was actually a first for the country where almost all press was in the language of the ruling class. Over the next 30 years he was exiled twice but returned both times to keep telling it like it is. Naturally, he made enemies in the process.

jean

The Last Story:

His persistence when it came to fighting injustice earned him a laundry list of ill-wishers. In particular, he made enemies with the pharmaceutical company Pharval Labratories (who sold tainted medicine that killed kids) and Senator/police chief Dany Toussaint (who abused his power and probably had his rival killed).

The Aftermath:

While heading to work at the radio station he had founded, Dominique was shot four times. An investigation eventually led to the arrest of six people involved, but never turned up the person on top. Toussaint, most suspiciously, refused to speak about it, citing his parliamentary immunity. He would go so far as to threaten to kill anyone who tried to revoke said immunity, which apparently isn’t a big enough tip off. Dominique’s family fled to the United States, and in Haiti he is still considered a national hero.

Advertisements
Random
Page 1 of 3
Loading...

Latest Articles

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

Hospitals can be scary places. They’re sterile and often impersonal, and oh yeah, there are often people dying all around you. And let’s not even get into the fact that...

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

People like their booze, and have for centuries upon centuries. It’s not a secret that basically as long as there have been human beings roaming the Earth, there have been human...

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

With a few odd exceptions, people love sex. Sex sells, people enjoy watching it, and more importantly, people enjoy having it. That’s because sex makes you feel good, and it...

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

Believe it or not, music videos are actually things that still exist, despite the fact that channels like MTV would have you believe otherwise. Celebrities popping up in a music...

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

One of the hardest things about writing fiction is coming up with interesting, fully developed side characters. After all, you can’t spend too much time on them because you...

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is an absolute juggernaut. There’s no denying it. Along with Walking Dead, you’d be hard pressed to find a television show that gets more online chatter that...

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

With the return of the immensely successful and wildly popular Game of Thrones, it’s only natural to look at the bookshelf and imagine what books may have a chance to rival the...

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

First things first, let’s not pretend that zombie movies are ever going to be exactly “normal.” After all, we’re talking about movies that center on the conceit that the...

8 Famous Movie Quotes No One Ever Gets Right

8 Famous Movie Quotes No One Ever Gets Right

We’re living in a culture where half of what we say seems to come from television or the movies. At some points it feels like there are precious few original thoughts being...

People Are Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse in Awesomely Fun Ways

People Are Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse in Awesomely Fun Ways

We’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: people love the idea of surviving in a zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead is the biggest show on television, and games like...