When investigative journalist Don Bolles was murdered by the Mafia in 1976 in connection with a story he was reporting, dozens of his friends vowed not to let his death stand unchallenged. They convened in
Bolles’ murder and the response of his colleagues made journalism history and is now part of journalism lore. Right now reporters have another opportunity to avenge the murder of a colleague.
Chauncey Bailey’s death last week apparently came about because of his investigation into the Black Muslim Bakery in
Reporters in the Bay Area got used to seeing members of the bakery community, led by Yusef Bey, show up at meetings of the Oakland City Council or Alameda Board of Supervisors. They were always polite and remote and definitely not particularly interested in talking to white reporters.
Bailey apparently looked into the Black Muslim Bakery years ago, and was threatened for his attempts, according to Thompson. He was taking another look when he was gunned down last week by a young man connected to the bakery,
The response of the papers in the Bay Area will reveal just how damaging the recent cuts actually are. It will take time and many reporters to uncover the truth behind this story. Let's hope today's reporters and editors are as loyal as Bolles' colleagues and do justice to Bailey. Let's hope the bosses decide to spend the money it takes to do the job.