Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Journalist as Detective

I’ve witnessed him as a student, as a rapper, and as a journalist. And recently, I started thinking of Dometi Pongo as a kind of detective.

[Related: The Journalist as Recovery Worker]

In the fourth episode of the True Life Crime series, Pongo follows the case of Jerika Binks, a young woman who had gone missing in Utah. Pongo worked with a local reporter to gather information. He interviewed family and friends, and he returned to the scenes of where she may had gone missing.

Like in previous episodes, Pongo's raising multiple questions, and trying to find out what happened. But this case departed from the others because Binks was missing. The case remained unsolved. Eventually though, after Pongo's initial visits to Utah, the body of Binks did turn up, and there was at least some closure for the family.

The processes of Pongo initially searching for answers was a reminder, for me, of the kind of detective or investigative work that many journalists do beyond only reporting on the news. Pongo was interviewing people, retracing potential crime scenes, searching for answers to a perplexing and painful mystery.

A Notebook on Dometi Pongo's True Life Crime series

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