While Washington partied, here’s what was happening in Baltimore

While the media celebrated in D.C. with a menu that included crabmeat terrine, paprika-rubbed filet mignon and seared Alaskan halibut, an hour away in Baltimore protests over the death of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police had reached a crescendo. Attendees at the D.C. event wore Forevermark diamonds and Armani tuxedos; people in Baltimore wore shirts saying #BlackLivesMatter and carried signs decrying police brutality. Others wore riot armor and clenched batons. An alarming symbol of America’s larger problem.

These journalists and so many others view their work as more than just a profession, but as a public good; an indispensable pillar of our society. So I want to give a toast to them. I raise a glass to them and all of you, with the words of the American foreign correspondent Dorothy Thompson: “It is not the fact of liberty, but the way in which liberty is exercised, that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.”
—  President Barack Obama, 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

 Saturday Stories (4.25.2015)

  1. Avatar IRL
    By Cecilia D’Anastasio
    April 15, 2015
    Originally, Veronica was merely an avatar. Now, Veronica Sidwell is a 37 year-old transwoman working as a picture framer in Atlanta, Georgia. Veronica…changed her legal name to match her Second Life avatar. It was a gesture of respect to the sim who lent her the confidence to transition IRL from male to female. 

  2. The Whistleblower’s Tale: How An Accountant Took on Halliburton
    By Jesse Eisinger
    April 21, 2015
    In 2005, Tony Menendez blew the whistle on Halliburton’s accounting practices. The fight cost him nine years of his life.

  3. I Spoke To Two Romanian Women Who Killed Their Husbands
    By Alex Nedea
    April 15, 2015
    When she realised that her life was in danger, she went to the police…”The police were tired of me and my complaints. They said that if I wanted justice, I should sue him”…But Magdalena couldn’t afford to go to court. Her only goods were some chickens. She would have to sell them just to pay for the trips to the courthouse.

  4. Swamps Élysées: Meet the Queen of Gator, Georgia’s Christy Plott Redd
    By Mary Logan Bikoff   
    April 21, 2015
    The self-proclaimed monarch holds court from the bayous of Louisiana to the posh boutiques of Paris. Her calling card? The skins of the American alligator. 

  5. ‘Can You Think About Rising?’
    Politico Magazine
    May/June 2015
    A year after the firings of two top women editors, four journalism leaders discuss the challenges of editing while female.

Two journalists who reported that a Tulsa reserve deputy’s training records had been falsified have abruptly resigned, according to Talking Points Memo. Reporter Dylan Goforth and editor Ziva Branstetter of the Tulsa World were responsible for breaking the news that officials in the Tulsa sheriff’s office had instructed employees to falsify the records of Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, the man responsible for killing unarmed civilian Eric Harris when Bates accidentally reached for his gun instead of his taser. 

Those who refused to cooperate in the falsification were reassigned, according to the report.