Ian Donnis / RIPR

After 28 years at the Providence Journal, investigative reporter Mike Stanton is leaving Rhode Island's statewide daily for a teaching job at the University of Connecticut. Stanton sat down to talk about his time at the ProJo, some of his favorite stories, and the future of investigative reporting


For sportswriter-turned-investigative reporter Mike Stanton, finding a good lead -- on one occasion in the '90s, at least -- didn't require more than a visit with his friends in the Providence Journal's sports department.

Welcome back to my Friday politics + media column. As always, you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in.

In The Prince of Providence, his gripping account of the life and times of Vincent A.

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The long-sought trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in US District Court in Boston offers a great example of how Twitter can carry the drama of legal action to a far bigger audience. Tweets from a bevy of top crime reporters, including WPRI-TV's Tim White, have offered a minute-by-minute account of the scene as the former fugitive mobster faces justice.

The Gannett Company is buying the Belo Corporation, the Dallas-based entity that owns 20 television stations, for $1.5 billion. Belo Corporation became a separate company in 2008 from A.H. Belo, the owner of the Providence Journal.

The AP reports:

The start of June has done nothing, naturally, to stop the breakneck flow of news in the Land of The Gift That Keeps on Giving. So welcome back to my weekly column. You can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) com, and (please) follow me on Twitter. Let's head in.

While Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat might be utterly unsurprising to some, the governor's move nonetheless scrambled the landscape for what already looked like a riveting election fight next year. That's why Chafee leads my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (and) org  and to follow me on Twitter. Let's go:

Happy Friday and welcome back. Your tips and thoughts are always appreciated in my inbox at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's dive in.

Tom Heslin, who oversaw the Providence Journal's Pulitzer-prize winning probe of the state court system in the 1990s, is retiring later this month as executive editor, the paper reports. The move comes after a long and distinguished career encompassing the Journal's glory days.

Heslin, 62, had been on an extended leave of absence for health reasons.

Ernest Hemingway's storied retort to F. Scott Fitzgerald about why the rich are different -- because they have more money -- comes to mind in surveying some news involving the Providence Journal.

As Ted Nesi notes, executives with ProJo parent A.H. Belo are hardly suffering amid the ongoing certainty facing the newspaper industry:

Providence Phoenix Newspaper
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Last week news broke that the weekly alternative paper, the Boston Phoenix, was stopping the presses after 47 years of publication. The news caught most media watchers off guard and has left some in Rhode Island wondering about the future of the Providence Phoenix. Here with insight into what happened in Boston and what’s ahead for Providence is the associate publisher of the Providence Phoenix Steve Brown.

Welcome back to my weekly column, and a happy St. Patrick's Day weekend to all. Stay safe out there and don't let the green beer get you. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Boston Phoenix Newspaper Closes

Mar 15, 2013
Photo courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album
courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album

It’s the end of an era for a popular Boston weekly newspaper. The Boston Phoenix will publish its last edition March 15th. The last online edition will come a week later.  The company’s newspapers in Providence and Portland, Maine will continue publishing.