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BEST REASON TO READ THE PIONEER PRESS Minneapolis 2008 - Ruben Rosario

Ruben Rosario is part of an endangered species: the grizzled but tender-hearted metro columnist who has sources from the mayor's office to the morgue. Mike Royko and Jimmy Breslin are probably the two best-known examples of this genus. Nowadays metro dailies seem more interested in devoting column space to ideological blowhards and domestic diarists. The kind of "journalists," in other words, who rarely challenge their opinions by conducting interviews with actual other human beings. Rosario's only ideology is championing the rights of the downtrodden and desperate. The veteran columnist has a particular soft spot for immigrants being chewed up by a pitiless, dysfunctional bureaucracy and victims of sexual violence. The tale of Laura R. was vintage Rosario. In 1986 the then-seven-year-old was molested by a family acquaintance while living in Arden Hills. Now a 30-year-old California resident, Laura R. discovered that the man convicted of assaulting her had become a much-loved chess instructor working with kids in the Twin Cities. She contacted Rosario to bring this situation to light. The resulting five-part series was astonishing for its complexity and compassion—traits not often associated with the drive-by media.

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