MAJOR FEATURES & INVESTIGATIONS
Though our mission has come to encompass coverage of everything from community arts to municipal meetings, along with other areas that receive less and less attention from the remaining news outlets in this region, BINJ continues to pursue challenging features, reporting projects, and investigations into topics that have slipped under the radar and warrant a deeper look. Below are links to some highlights that have been published on the BINJ site as well as through various partners.
Pandemic Democracy Project
The biggest change we made during the pandemic was to start producing more short daily news stories through our Pandemic Democracy Project. At the same time, we used our investigative muscle to write longer stories related to COVID-19 and its impact on our readership, including but not limited to impugning hundreds of no-bid state contracts. For his work on coronavirus contracts that BINJ published through the Bay State Banner and DigBoston among other outlets, Dan Atkinson won second place from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia in the Investigative Reporting category (the David Carr Award).
Prisons & Parole
Other news organizations occasionally report on major tragedies and scandals that happen within the Mass Department of Correction, but we lead on this front—from Jean Trounstine’s dogged coverage of our state’s parole system, which is still in progress, to Dakota Antelman’s feature about the DOC’s questionable role in drug rehabilitation.
- INSIDE THE FIGHT TO DOCUMENT THE HORRORS AT AMERICA’S OLDEST WOMEN’S PRISON (By Shelby Grebbin & Isha Marathe)
- THE CRUEL AND USUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST LGBTQ+ PEOPLE IN MASS PRISONS (By Emma Newbery)
- BINJ REPORTING ON PRISON AND PAROLE HIGHLIGHTED NATIONALLY
- UNPREPARED NOMINEE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DYSFUNCTIONAL MASS PAROLE BOARD (By Jean Trounstine)
Policing & Surveillance
With the Black Lives Matter movement and related civil rights issues getting an increasing amount of mainstream coverage over the past two years, BINJ has continued to focus on longer and more complex stories in this realm that take months or even years to report.
- BINJ IMPACT ON THE SURVEILLANCE FRONT IN BOSTON
- SPECIAL FEATURE ON THE MASS STATE POLICE: TROOPER WILSON’S WAR (By Chris Faraone)
- SWAMPSCOTT VS. SHIMMY: ON THE PROSECUTION OF A BLACK LIVES MATTER ACTIVIST IN THE MASS SUBURBS (By Sophie Yarin)
- INSCRUTABLE SCHOOLS: HOW BUREAUCRATIC DYSFUNCTION PREVENTS A RECKONING WITH PHYSICAL AND STUDENT RESTRAINT IN BPS (by Daniel DeFraia)
We have produced, published, and distributed hundreds of outstanding BINJ features since our inception, many of which have had significant impact. Here are some standouts that continue to find readers and inform public and political discussions around their given topics several years later.
- THE THIRSTY GAMES: AN EXPLORATION INTO THE SORDID HISTORY OF BOSTON’S MODERN PROHIBITION (by Haley Hamilton)
- THE LAND BOSTON FORGOT: THE (R)EVOLUTION OF BARRY’S CORNER (By Rachel Hock)
- FIRE SALE: EVEN FOR WEAPONS DEALERS WHO HAVE FLOUTED STATE LAWS, THERE IS MAJOR MONEY TO BE MADE IN MASS (By Various Authors)
- ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE: MASS STATE POLICE HAVE SPENT MILLIONS AMASSING AN ARSENAL OF TASERS, BUT THERE’S MINIMAL ACCOUNTABILITY (By Various Authors)
- SQUANDERED JUSTICE: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS REVEAL TOWN’S BEHIND-THE-SCENES RESPONSE TO CONTROVERSY (By Laura Kiesel)