I was on the Power Reporting web site earlier today looking for something when I ran across Bill Dedmon‘s series in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1988 about how banks would not lend money in this supposed city Too Busy to Hate to consumers who lived in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The series was called the Color of Money, and at one time I had a reprint of it.
The series, which ran the first week in May in 1988, won a Pulitzer Prize the next year. For someone like me, who was just getting started in business journalism at that time, Dedmon’s series was a real eye-opener, and it showed the possibilities of computerized reporting for business topics. It was also, at least in my opinion, the beginning of the paper’s more aggressive tone in business coverage.
Sixteen years later, I found myself reading these stories and reveling once again in the simplicity of the writing and the forcefulness of the facts that caused a huge firestorm of backlash against the banking industry not only in Atlanta but all across the country.
Read the series and see for yourself.