This kind of work, Walcott added, can only be done by a certain, privileged segment of the news media. “Not every news organization, in print or online, has the resources to do this kind of thing,” he said. “I think sometimes people are a little quick to pull the trigger on the hated ‘mainstream media.’ We are a mainstream media company, and that’s one of the reasons we can do things like this.

“That’s not to say we’re perfect, or that we don’t deserve a lot of criticism, we in the mainstream media,” he said. “But once in a while, we’re capable of doing something worthwhile, something only a large organization can do.”

This willingness to describe “Guantánamo: Beyond the Law” as a generalized mainstream-media victory — as opposed to just a triumph for McClatchy — is commendable. Maybe McClatchy’s competitors can return the favor by helping the series get the readership it deserves.

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