John Jays Law Enforcement
News Honored for Articles on 9/11
As any reader of New York Citys newspapers
is well aware, the attacks on the World Trade Center created an
unparalleled challenge to the journalistic community. Last springs
Pulitzer Prizes made it clear local newsrooms, notably that of the
New York Times, rose admirably to the challenge.
More specialized periodicals have also played a part in responding
to the numerous plot-threads that will produce a comprehensive response
to the terrorist attacks. One of theseLaw Enforcement News,
a publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justicewas recently
honored with a national award for its coverage of the tragedy and
Law Enforcement News, created in 1975 as part of the colleges
mission to enhance police professionalism, was recently presented
with the Quill & Badge Award for Excellence in Communications
by the International Union of Police Associations, a member of the
AFL-CIO. The IUPA, an organization of more than 100,000 law enforcement
personnel, cited the newspaper for superb coverage in the
aftermath of September11, and what it means to the local law enforcement
First presented in 1995, the Quill & Badge Awards recognize
journalists and others who produce information that provides an
accurate picture of the men and women dedicated to careers in law
enforcement. This years awards ceremony was held in conjunction
with National Police Week in May.
Law Enforcement News previously won the Quill & Badge Award
in 1997 for its reporting on law enforcement on Native American
landa series of articles that played a part in then-Attorney
General Janet Renos formulation of new federal policy in this
John Jay President Gerald Lynch, acknowledging the new honor, said,
We are extremely proud of the ground-breaking, sometimes controversial,
reporting and writing by the entire staff, and appreciate the important
recognition of their work by police organizations around the country.
The award-winning reportage began with a true stop the presses
moment: the WTC towers collapsed as the newspaper was just hours
away from going to press with another semi-monthly issue. A quick
but necessary remake of the issue was undertaken, and the newspaper
began a series of probing special-focus articles that would run
through the remainder of the year and continue into 2002.
Certainly, it was a defining moment for everyone, but it was
a watershed for American policing, Marie Simonetti Rosen,
the newspapers publisher, said of that day. Law enforcement
at all levels is in the midst of reinventing itself to combat terrorism
at home, and there are still a whole host of ideological and pragmatic
issues that need to be worked out.
The series of nine articles submitted to the IUPA competition explored
such themes as personnel issues, community policing, racial profiling,
post-traumatic stress, interagency cooperation, and citizen involvement
in the war on terrorism.
The headlines of the storieswhich were produced by Rosen,
staff writer Jennifer Nislow, and editor Peter Dodenhoffgive
a sense of the range of Law Enforcement Newss coverage:
- Secret weapon against terrorism? Chiefs say community
policing is an ace in the hole
- Are Americans ready to buy into racial profiling?
- Can we talk? Officers take steps to head off 9/11 post-traumatic
- Really trying: When it comes to inter-agency cooperation,
is the FBI really trying harder or just trying locals
- New duties for some police, new problems for their
agencies: Reserve & Guard call-ups could hurt manpower-strapped
- Below the radar: Local police suffer strain of stretched
- When theres no cop in sight: Heroes aboard Flight
93 exemplify a new standard for citizen involvement in the fight
- Portland just says no to FBI.
- 2001, a year in profile: Life in law enforcement before
and after 9/11
The influence of Law Enforcement News
can be measured by its readership, which includes police practitioners
of all ranks in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries, along with
academic criminal justice researchers, print and broadcast journalists,
and members of the rapidly expanding private security sector.
Since its inception, LEN articles have been reprinted in numerous
college textbooks and other publications, with the newspaper fielding
about 40 such reprint requests each year. One long-time reader,
the novelist Thomas Harris, even wove LEN into the plot of his best-selling
horror-thriller The Silence of the Lambs, placing the paper in the
hands of the imprisoned serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
Innovative and ground-breaking coverage is nothing new for LEN,
which in the past has featured in-depth explorations of such topics
as the growing threat of right-wing extremist groups, the criminal
justice systems response to aspects of the AIDS crisis, hate
crimes, psychological screening of police officers, community-based
and problem-oriented policing, and law enforcements evolving
response to domestic violence.
The newspapers reporting on the potential health hazards posed
by traffic radar guns, which helped
shape policies in numerous police
agencies, was featured in a 60 Minutes segment on the
LEN is also a lively platform for police officials and many others
to express their views on timely issues, whether through wide-ranging,
candid interviews or op- ed-style commentaries. The newspaper takes
no editorial stance of its own, but contributions from readers ensure
that each issue contains an array of spirited expressions of opinion.
The newspaper has enjoyed a long-time symbiosis with John Jay Colleges
Lloyd Sealy Library, including such collaborative ventures as special
supplements on the Literature of Criminal Justice, which have contained
reviews of hundreds of current books in dozens of criminal justice-related
subject areas. The library also sponsors the Law Enforcement News
web site (www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/len)
where browsers can find snapshots of each issue, along
with some issues in their entirety. The site, which also includes
subscription information, receives 20,000 visits each year.