How I Got That Story: High-Security Letdown

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On July 28, 2012, three protesters broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn. After maneuvering their way to the high-security core of the government nuclear facility, they spray-painted peace slogans on concrete barriers, strung up crime-scene tape, and splashed human blood on the plant’s storehouse for bomb-grade uranium.

Frank Munger, senior writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel began to piece together the story as the Plowshares protesters were arrested and booked on federal charges. He posted the first report of the intrusion on his news blog, Atomic City Underground and by day’s end he had published an additional nine reports. As news developed, Munger identified the protesters and their motives, established the sequence of events at the government installation, and - drawing upon past experience covering the national security facilities in Oak Ridge - provided context on the unprecedented breach.

Over the course of several months, Munger pursued the story. He broke the news of top executives being fired or forced into retirement; a security contractor losing its contract; and investigations that outlined shocking failures at a plant now known as the Fort Knox of Uranium.

Learn how Munger covered the break-in at a nuclear weapons plant and its ramifications at a webinar hosted by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Wednesday, March 20

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Frank MungerMeet Your Presenter:

Frank Munger is senior writer/columnist/blogger for the Knoxville News Sentinel, where he has covered the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge operations for 30-plus years. He began his career as a copy editor and editorial page assistant at The Commercial Appeal, a Scripps affiliate in Memphis, and later served as editorial page editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Press. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Topics to be covered:

• Using experience to advantage

• How to create experience if you don’t have it

• Using blogs to break news, build audience

• Sources, sources everywhere

Read more about the story here. You can read the blog here.

Register here for the webinar by 5 p.m. March 19