Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GOOD READS: Dispatches from the week from hell

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Last week was a very bad week, from Boston to West, Texas to Iran. Beyond the breaking news, here's some of the most thoughtful coverage we've seen of the week's events so far.

The day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Grantland.com (a sports and narrative journalism hub) ran this essay from Charles Pierce about the scene and the lingering question of what it means for the future of the race. 

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote about the perseverance of marathon runners

The New York Times compiled a simple, but powerful look at one image from the Boston finish line as one of the blasts went off. It pairs portraits of those in the photo with audio and writing about how they felt and what they did in that terrifying moment. (Also from the Times, an essay about why we've been so obsessed with the suspects' online lives.)

Much of the other coverage of the bombings has focused on the media's mistakes and the public's efforts at vigilantism. The Atlantic breaks down how misinformation about the suspects spread so far and fast, and this week's Chicago Public Radio show "This American Life" starts with the story of one of the Redditors who combed through photos and video of the scene looking for people who could be suspects. 

There hasn't yet been as much from West, Texas, where the death toll from a massive explosion at a fertilizer has reached 14 with 200 others injured, but Reuters has reported that the Department of Homeland Security was unaware that the plant housed 270 tons of ammonium nitrate (they're supposed to be notified if a plant has 400 lb or more of the substance). Bloomberg reported that the plant's last OSHA inspection was in 1985, leading some to speculate about lax regulation for the disaster.

Texas Monthly has a fascinating story about another disaster — the deadliest industrial accident in American History in Texas City way back in 1947 — and what lessons it may hold for the West story.

Mother Jones wrote about a tiny Czech bakery that kept operating as the town burned to feed victims and volunteers.

Elsewhere, photojournalists have been covering massive earthquakes in northwest Iran and China's Sichuan province. And the BBC delved into a failed terror plot in Canada.

Find more GOOD READS over here

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