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Results of our latest politics news hunt

Just a day after we concluded our most recent news hunt on politics, news broke that William Donald Schaefer, former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, had died at age 89.

In testament to his profound influence, there has been an explosion of related coverage across the local media. To help people sort through the volume of commentary and news stories, we've established a special topic page to collect the best journalism about Schaefer. Please visit and help us highlight the most compelling stories.

Last week's news hunt around politics turned up a rich variety of news and opinion from the Baltimore media landscape. (This was our second news hunt on politics; the first took place during the first week NewsTrust Baltimore was live. Read more about those results here.) During last week's hunt, which took place from April 11 to April 17, 2011, the NewsTrust Baltimore community reviewed 53 stories in the politics category. Of these, 12 received a NewsTrust rating and 12 were considered above average.


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News comparison: Maryland General Assembly wrap-up

Last week's political news was dominated by the April 11 conclusion of the Maryland General Assembly's 2011 session. We conducted a "news comparison" on the homepage to look at coverage summarizing the final day of the General Assembly session from WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and WBAL Radio

All three stories were highly praised, but reviewers were most impressed with the facts gathered and sourcing of the Sun's coverage. Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey's story edged out the others with a 3.8 NewsTrust rating. WBAL Radio received a 3.6, and WYPR's story got a 3.5. Reviewer and media partner Howard Libit praised the Sun's coverage for doing "an excellent job of capturing the last day of the session -- both the craziness, and the highlights of the major issues."


Featured topic

One hotly debated bill before the General Assembly this year was a provision to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state rates for college tuition. A Baltimore Sun story on the bill's passage evoked a strong response from Towson University student Devin Hamburger, who wrote: "I read this article in print and then raced back to my laptop to review it. This story was interesting to me because the topic of illegal immigration and education is very controversial." She added that "the writer does a great job of staying unbiased while giving all the sides of the argument."

The enmeshed economics and politics of downtown Baltimore real estate is a recurring theme in the news. Last week, Baltimore Brew took a close look at "Downtown Baltimore: land of the lost tenant." The story sparked some interesting discussion from NewsTrust Baltimore community members, some of whom were left feeling there was more to the story. Kate N. Bernard pointed out in her review: "There are a lot of buildings mentioned in this article that have office space available. The problems that cause this are pointed out and there are some suggestions of what can be done to fix this... It seems there are a lot of topics that are mentioned but not explained."

Towson University student Francesca Sophia Massa wrote: "The story is informative, however it does not really go into much detail and leaves the reader hanging. It also leaves the reader unsure of many issues that they began to cover."

A Baltimore Brew opinion piece on development in downtown Baltimore's West Side also provoked discussion. Reviewer and Investigative Voice staffer A.F. James MacArthur made these observations: "The author raises valid issues. The problem is clearly identified, then a series of solutions are provided. While the readability of the piece could be improved, the points made are solid. Of particular concern to me is the fact of a very expensive State Center facility construction planned for the area, yet there are currently no plans for the soon to be vacant Social Security building."

With the first candidates making their candidacies official, we have created a mayoral election topic page. Please take a look and help us add and review stories. In the months ahead, you can also use that page to keep track of the best journalism on an important election.

Over the city line, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has been wrestling with his first budget season. As discussed in stories from the Baltimore Business Journal and Towson Patch, Kamenetz seems to have threaded a needle by producing a budget without layoffs or tax increases.


Thanks to our community

We'd like to thank our community members and media and educational partners who helped find the stories that were part of this news hunt. If you are not yet a member of NewsTrust Baltimore, please sign up and join the experiment; your voice is needed and welcome.

Please help us post and review stories about Baltimore -- the success of this social news experiment depends on the participation of members like you.

Thank you again, and see you on the site!



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About NewsTrust Baltimore

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