When listening to Thomas Peele speak in class, I was able to learn quite a bit more information about the Chauncey Bailey project. Peele, who is an investigative reporter, spoke quite a bit about his background dealing with these types of cases as well as the risks that come along with being this type of reporter. When I first would think of this type of career, I always somewhat thought of it being a scary business where there was so much at stake for these people. When trying to find so much information on hard news stories, especially those who involve individuals who do not want the information leaked, it becomes quite dangerous for these types of reporters.
After hearing about the case that was being investigated with Your Black Muslim Bakery, and hearing about Chauncey Bailey who was a reporter that was murdered, you would think that Thomas Peele would be a bit hesitant to be apart of this, however when hearing him speak in class, he stated that this idea was only in the back of his and other reporters mind. Another assumption that I had before listening to our interview in class, was that maybe Chauncey Bailey was a friend to Peele. Come to find out, Bailey and Peele did not know each other at all. When Peele was asked, why did this case interest you so much, even with not knowing of Bailey at all, he responded, “several colleagues and I recognized the significance of his murder even though he was not a very well known journalist and was on the downside of his career. None of that mattered, what mattered was that he was working on a story.” Very well put, by a man who is obviously very dedicated to his work.
Another big part of the story with Your Black Muslim Bakery that Peele talked about was the fact that so many reporters felt that they had to look deeper into this case. ”We had to protect the ability to do our job, if we weren’t able to publish these stories, then we really have no purpose.” As a reporter it is your duty to give the public the information that is not being shared. When he said this it made me really come to terms with the fact that this is what they are paid to do. To find the scoop and all of the information that comes with the stories that they choose to investigate.
When asking about how the field of investigative reporting has changed from the early 1980’s, when he started to now, Peele discussed how the improvement of technology has been the biggest change that he has seen, and how this improvement has helped to advance what they can do and things that they can discover in investigative reporting. He also talked about this rise of technology being somewhat negative with the collapse of newspapers and how many cuts have been made. With newspapers once being a large part of our society and news, to it now really not holding much ground against the fast internet, it has made several cuts with writers, editors, etc. in newspapers.
Lastly, when Peele was asked if justice has been done in the Chauncey Bailey case, he seemed very sure to say that, yes it had. Justice may not have been done without reporters such as Thomas Peele who are there to tell the people what is really going on. Peele, being one of the best investigative reporters in the business plans to stay around a bit longer, and continue to investigate these types of cases.