Scoop by Jack Nelson
The Evolution of a Southern Reporter

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From a gullible cub reporter with the Daily Herald in Biloxi and Gulfport, to the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize winner at the Atlanta Constitution, to the peerless beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering civil rights in the South, Jack Nelson (1929-2009) was dedicated to exposing injustice and corruption wherever he found it. Whether it was the gruesome conditions at a twelve-thousand-bed mental hospital in Georgia or the cruelties of Jim Crow inequity, Nelson proved himself to be one of those rare reporters whose work affected and improved thousands of lives.

His memories about difficult circumstances, contentious people, and calamitous events provide a unique window into some of the most momentous periods in southern and U.S. history. Wherever he landed, Nelson found the corruption others missed or disregarded. He found it in lawless Biloxi; he found it in buttoned-up corporate Atlanta; he found it in the college town of Athens, Georgia. Nelson turned his investigations of illegal gambling, liquor sales, prostitution, shakedowns, and corrupt cops into such a trademark that honest mayors and military commanders called on him to expose miscreants in their midst.

Once he realized that segregation was another form of corruption, he became a premier reporter of the civil rights movement and its cast of characters, including Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Alabama's Sheriff Jim Clarke, George Wallace, and others. He was, through his steely commitment to journalism, a chronicler of great events, a witness to news, a shaper and reshaper of viewpoints, and indeed one of the most important journalists of the twentieth century.


About Jack Nelson

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Jack Nelson (1929-2009), former Washington Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times, won a Pulitzer Prize (1960), the Drew Pearson Award for Investigative Reporting (1975), and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award (1999). Author or coauthor of several books, he resided with his wife, journalist Barbara Matusow. Barbara Matusow is a veteran writer, a former television producer, and a contributing editor with Washingtonian Magazine. An award-winning journalist, she is the author of the bestselling The Evening Stars: The Making of the Network New Anchor. A native of Alabama, Hank Klibanoff is the managing editor for news at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a former metro reporter, national correspondent based in Chicago, business editor, and deputy managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for twenty years. He was also a reporter for three years at The Boston Globe and six years in Mississippi for The Daily Herald, the South Mississippi Sun (now the Sun Herald) and the Delta Democrat-Times.
Published November 9, 2012 by University Press of Mississippi. 219 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The Washington Times

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It might be said that the seeds of Jack Nelson's legendary career as an investigative reporter were planted at the age of 15 when he was mercilessly bullied by a burly Biloxi, Miss. detective who accused him of a theft he hadn't committed.

Jan 28 2013 | Read Full Review of Scoop: The Evolution of a Sou...

Tampa Bay Times

Nelson came to the story late, but he soon moved to the front ranks of a small cadre of reporters who kept the struggle for civil rights on the front page of the nation's leading newspapers.

Jan 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Scoop: The Evolution of a Sou...

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