After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimate example of the kind of dogged, day-in-day-out investigative reporting that no blogger, TV news crew or online journalist is equipped to do. The paper overcame school system stone-walling, public skepticism and pressure from powerful business interests in uncovering what has been revealed to be the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. And, to its credit, the AJC managed to bring this widespread fraud to light without sensationalizing the story or overreaching in its conclusions. Rather, it methodically backed up each new discovery with enough evidence to trigger a state investigation of unprecedented scope. Daily newspapers may be dinosaurs, but there's nothing on the new-media landscape that can duplicate their T-Rex bite when it comes to complex stories like this. ajc.com.
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