One of the biggest aspects of the Penn State tragedy that has been overlooked is the courage and tenacity of the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. While many details remain unclear, one thing that is apparent is that Penn State was a dominating and intimidating force in the community. No one went against them, even when there was strong, even overwhelming, evidence of significant wrongdoing.
In comes 24-year-old Sara Ganim, a writer for the paper, who uncovers this story. And at her side was the editorial staff of the Patriot-News. They first wrote about Jerry Sandusky last March — eight months ago! In a time of shrinking support, circulation and ad revenue for smaller publications, the actions of Ms. Ganim and the Patriot-News showed pure courage. Every bit comparable to the guts and drive of The Washington Post in breaking the Watergate scandal — with probably as much to lose if the story didn't hold up. These last months waiting to see if the story would be picked up by "major" media must have been wrenching. Then Ms. Ganim writes again about Mr. Sandusky, this time quoting the grand jury's description of his alleged attack of Victim 1 in the shower. And, again, the Patriot-News prints the story.