And it's such a shame that this is happening so soon after the death of its former editor Larry Beaupre.
According to new research presented Nov. 12 at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, a significantly higher-than-average rate of lupus has been detected among those exposed to radioactive pollution from the former Fernald uranium plant, which processed uranium ore for many years as part of the manufacture of atomic weapons. UC issued its press release on Veteran's Day.
By 2 p.m. Nov. 13, I could find only one local news media outlet that had carried the story: WXIX. I went to Cincinnati.com and searched the website for mentions of Fernald. Nothing about the latest scientific findings. I ran a Google search. Found the WXIX piece and nothing else.
Back when I worked for the paper -- under the leadership of Larry Beaupre -- I spent a lot of my time covering the health issues connected to the Fernald plant. Visited the place multiple times. But I was hardly alone. Over the years, several Enquirer reporters dedicated a lot of time and effort to informing the public about the hazards of that Cold War institution.
The fact that an entire day could pass with zero mention of this new finding by the Enquirer just flabbergasts me.
Back in 1999, I wrote a big story about the elevated urinary cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer rates associated with Fernald. In 1998, I wrote about the elevated lung cancer risks. At no time during those investigations did anyone bring up possible lupus risks. Yet data from the hard-won, court-ordered medical monitoring program indicates that such risks exist.
Back in those days, the Enquirer raced to get Fernald news into the paper. Today? Not so much. Kudos to Fox 19.