Friday, November 14, 2008


Naturally, this is a deeply disturbing story, magnified by the fact that I knew Brian Dickens from my days covering high school athletics. Seeing how I was still covering prep sports in 2002, when this relationship began, there's a distinct possibility that all of this happened right in front of me.

Can I also, on a journalistic note, point out how the Athens Banner-Herald did this story in the exactly right way? The Oconee Enterprise has devoted the past three weeks to not actually reporting or investigating the claims, but rather parroting rumors that circulate through the community. The ABH heard the rumors and then did the work to see if they were true. Since they didn't have confirmation earlier in the week, they didn't report the rumors. They received confirmation after, presumably doing open records requests and searching through police reports, and then reported on the story.

The Oconee Enterprise was content in using unnamed sources who had 'heard' something wasn't right, revealing a journalistic laziness that is even staggering for a small-town weekly.


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