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THOUGHT PROVOKING JOURNALISM
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The Confessions of RosaLee

May. 23, 1995
60 minutes

The Washington Post ran a week-long series of front-page articles about one Washington, D.C., resident and her family. Reporting on the interrelationships of poverty, racism, crime, illiteracy, and drug use and their persistence over generations, reporter Leon Dash spent four years getting to know RosaLee Cunningham, a thief, former prostitute and drug addict, and the mother of eight children. Dash observed first-hand the poverty, drug use, and crime now cycling through a third generation of RosaLee's family. FRONTLINE examines the reaction and controversy Dash's powerful report had among policymakers and amidst the African-American community and reveals what happens when the reporter-as-objective-observer erases the boundary between himself and his subject.

Producer(s): June Cross


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