Top stories for Thursday

This week the Justice Department will begin probing the Ferguson police force, the Washington Post announces (7,409 shares). "MORE: DOJ officials say federal probe will look not just at Ferguson PD, but also other departments in greater STL," WaPo's Wesley Lowery points out. NBC News also has that story (158 shares). In another get by the Post, Radley Balko uncovers how St. Louis County, Missouri profits from poverty (12,688 shares). "Astonishing, deeply reported @radleybalko piece about how tiny St. Louis area towns soak and harass the poor," Poynter's Andrew Beaujon praises.

In other riveting reads, New York Times' Tim Arango tells the story of one man's surviving an ISIS massacre, accompanied by a graphic video feature (11,499 shares). "If you didn't watch last night, this video report on the lone survivor of an ISIS massacre is incredible/horrifying," BuzzFeed's Miriam Elder tweets. Meanwhile, NYT's Nicholas Kristof reflects on the heartbreaking loss of Steven Sotloff in "When Reporting Is Dangerous" (4,231 shares). Finally, in the wake of Sotloff's and James Foley's deaths, CJR wonders, "Is it time to end media blackouts?" (253 shares)

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