Earlier this week, ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson spoke at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami about his groundbreaking series, “Law and Disorder,” which uncovered the deadly and illegal actions taken by some New Orleans police officers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
As one of the featured speakers for the event, Thompson explained his reporting process over the past couple of years and how he was mentored to “write from the ground up” and talk to the powerless.
“I don’t go collecting tidbits of information from the powerful. I go talking to people at the bottom about their lives and what they would like to communicate to the powerful,” he said.
The 2011 Media Learning Seminar is an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It brings together tech experts as well as community and place-based foundations to discuss how they can – and are – supporting news and information projects. The event is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, an effort to encourage local foundations to help fund projects that inform and engage communities.
Along with Thompson, this year’s seminar featured Arianna Huffington, president of the Huffington Post Media Group; Facebook Co-Founder and Jumo.com Founder Chris Hughes; and the FCC’s Steve Waldman, who has been charged with making recommendations to ensure a vibrant media landscape.