Danielle Ivory ’05 (Courtesy Danielle Ivory)
Last year, more than a dozen automakers recalled over 60 million vehicles in the United States alone. In part, this was thanks to a multiplatform series of news stories that revealed industry-wide neglect of safety defects in vehicles.
Danielle Ivory ’05 of The New York Times worked on a team that spent 10 months reporting the series, titled “Fatal Flaws,” which recently won a Scripps-Howard award for public-service journalism.
Starting with an article in March 2014, the Times revealed that auto regulators had dismissed a defect that has since been tied to 13 deaths and reported that G.M. had misled grieving families on a lethal deflect in their cars. The series went on to detail the “untold heartache” suffered by the families of the victims “whose deaths General Motors has linked to an ignition switch defect that can cause a loss of power in cars. In September 2014, they exposed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal regulatory agency, had over the past decade been “slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies.”
In their comments, the judges praised the series’ “exhaustive reporting, damning detail and expert analysis,” as well as the “the incisive, emotional quality of every story, headline, graphic, photo and caption.” Continue reading
Mary Throne ’82 (Louis Jacobson ’92)
By Louis Jacobson ’92
These days, getting elected as a Democrat in Wyoming isn’t easy. While the Democrats have won the governorship as recently as 2006, it could be a long while before they win it again. The Republicans currently have a lock on every elected statewide office and have monopolized the congressional delegation for years. And the GOP holds an overwhelming lead in the state Senate (26-4) and in the state House (60-9).
In other words, the political hand dealt to Mary Throne ’82 — the Wyoming House Democratic Floor Leader — is far from ideal.
“It’s really hard to overcome the dislike of President Obama,” Throne said. “And the national energy policies are not good for Wyoming — that’s really the source of most of the angst. All that makes it very hard for a statewide Democrat.”
That said, Throne and her fellow party members are able to pick their spots. Education policy is a good example. Even as other Republican-led states have been urgently backpedaling from the Common Core — the set of standards created by and adopted by a majority of states, then later touted by the Obama administration — Wyoming lawmakers have minimized the flack and forged ahead with implementation on a bipartisan basis. Continue reading
Scott Clemons ’90 (Courtesy Scott Clemons)
While most students’ bookshelves at Princeton are lined with dog-eared textbooks and hand-me-downs, Scott Clemons ’90 lined his shelves with something a little different: rare books.
Clemons, now president of the Grolier Club in Manhattan, co-organized an exhibition that opened at the club last month titled “Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze.” Aldus Manutius, who died 500 years ago this year, was a famous scholar-printer of the Italian Renaissance.
Gutenberg may have invented the movable-type printing press, but “anyone who has ever sat in a cafe, or in the bath, with a paperback owes a debt to Aldus and the small, cleanly designed editions of the secular classics he called libelli portatiles, or portable little books,” wrote The New York Times.
“It’s become a cliché to call them the forerunners of the Penguin Classics,” Clemons told the Times. “But the concept of personal reading is in some ways directly traceable to the innovations of Aldus’s portable library.” Continue reading
Nick Guthe ’91, left, with Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt ’81, one of several Princeton basketball alumni featured in The Billion Dollar Game. (Courtesy Nick Guthe)
With the cameras rolling at Jadwin Gym last May, Nick Guthe ’91 set to work solving a Princeton basketball mystery: In 1989, when the Tiger men were preparing for their showdown with top-seeded Georgetown, who came up with the plan to go the barbershop for Hoosiers-style buzzcuts?
“Whose idea was it?” Guthe asked, sounding faintly like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. “Whose idea was it?”
Under the bright lights, Jerry Doyle ’91, a starting guard for the ’89 team, grudgingly admitted the idea was his. When the crew paused to switch tapes, Doyle, a Duke Law grad, smiled and shook his head. “You should be a prosecutor,” he said.
Filmmaker suits Guthe just fine. A writer and director with a background in TV and movies, Guthe returned to Princeton to work on his first documentary, a short film titled The Billion Dollar Game, which premiered on ESPN’s Grantland.com today.
The film, which features Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril and several Princeton basketball alumni, explores Princeton’s thrilling NCAA Tournament loss to Georgetown and its effect on the sport’s future. The Tigers’ near miss helped to preserve automatic tournament bids for small-conference teams. It also proved compelling to executives at CBS, the network that subsequently paid $1 billion for the tournament’s exclusive broadcasting rights and expanded coverage to include all first-round games. “It really changed the way that people consume college basketball,” Guthe said. Continue reading
Stephanie Flack ’92 (© Amy Moore)
By Louis Jacobson ’92
Last year, Stephanie Flack ’92 decided to leave a job that she says she could have stayed in forever. For the previous 18 years, Flack had worked with the Nature Conservancy, a major environmental group, during which time she spearheaded a landmark effort to preserve the biologically rich Potomac River watershed.
“It was a great place to be — it never got boring, and I was proud to be part of this big, successful organization,” she said. But she’d also felt she’d “gotten into the weeds” during a lengthy technical project, so when the opportunity arose to lead the Washington, D.C., Environmental Film Festival, she took it.
The festival — which at 23 years is the longest-running environmental film festival in the United States — will be held between March 17 and March 29 and is scheduled to include more than 160 films from 31 countries. Many of them are premieres, and many will be shown along with presentations by the filmmaker or other expert speakers. Last year’s festival attracted 33,000 people to films at dozens of venues, many of them free to the public. “It’s not a niche festival,” Flack said. “Everybody should care about these topics.” Continue reading
As the latest measles outbreak made headlines nationwide last month, one important question arose about the ethics of mandatory vaccinations: Are there beliefs — parental or religious — that ought to allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children?
Jason Schwartz ’03 (Margaret Andrews)
As an expert in bioethics, Jason Schwartz ’03 actively weighed in on the debate, speaking on public radio stations WHYY and WBUR. The consensus right now, Schwartz told PAW, is that exceptions should be available — but that they should be “pretty hard to get.” It shouldn’t simply be a matter of signing a form or checking a box, but “really making a parent explain their sincere beliefs about vaccination.”
Schwartz majored in classics and was also a pre-med student as an undergraduate. For a long time he thought he would be a physician or surgeon, but soon discovered, while pursuing graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, that he was much more interested in policy and social issues around health and medicine. Continue reading