Well, on and on it goes. I recall the day at the Tribune when I had to explain the obligations of journalism to a Medill graduate who was a veep, talking about the public's right and need to know. It was very passionate. Her response was that people don't care where the information comes from. She was arguing that the Trib's audience on the web should be secretaries and folks in their offices between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. I was arguing it should be much more aggressive than that and tap ever aspect of Tribune news strength. Before you knew it, those of us who built our lives on foreign desks and in national news were gone. I was angry about that, but now I am not. I see where it carried the paper. What a jolly trip that was! She was not even right from a marketing perspective, I suspect. And certainly not from a news perspective. But I never in my life considered marketing perspectives when I was working as a reporter and I don't recommend that anyone focuses on that now if they are about collecting and presenting news. The public has a right and need to know at many different levels. If you get in the way of that, you are simply wrong and an enemy of an informed public. Collecting audiences is what personalities do. Collecting news is what reporters do. We continue to mix that up.
I love New York on someone else's money. I love Chicago on my own.
Unfortunately, I find myself in support of a reaction that simply won't work. I think we should tighten gun control laws to make it difficult to buy a firearm, not impossible, then make purchasers sign contracts to keep their firearms well controlled (locked?) and separate the weapon from the ammunition. that's not going anywhere, of course. But most other gun control suggestions won't do much to address the problem, if we're going to be honest about it. i am not embracing the outhouse rat proposal of the NRA that we arm guards in schools (although we already have armed guards in something like 25,000 schools) but I am aware that some 2 million AR-15 style rifles were sold in America between 2000 and 2010, that the last ban really didn't ban anything, it just encouraged weapons makers to be creative in format so the firearms would not meet the assault rifle standards, and that beyond assault rifles, there are too many firearms in America to count. So, I'm leaning toward knowing more about shooters. Can we anticipate who is going to become a shooter and why? That is a difficult question. Also, why is the killing of 20 little boys and girls at one time in Newtown any more heartbreaking than the killing of easily as many over a few years by bullets in gang conflicts that missed their marks in desperate neighborhoods in Chicago? The temptation is to say we don't care as much about small black children as about small white children, but that's not correct. The problem is we don't cover those murders the same way because they are a lot harder to follow than the act of one troubled man with a banana clip and a roomful of children to shoot at. I hope I am not sounding insensitive about this, but the tragedy of gun violence is not well contained. It is just not well covered or understood. One the one hand, we have lunatics with automatic weapons and on the other hand, we have businessmen in a murderous contest over control of turf and retribution. The gap between the two is vast, but they are simply different surfaces of the same troubling pyramid of violence. Whoops, the arrival of a metaphor means it's time to stop.
All of which answers the question, "Is there a market for journalism education?" You bet. Starting with publishers!
Well, I'd like to bitch and gripe but all I can say is good luck. Kirk is a smart and ethical editor and very hard worker. Everyone should benefit from his guidance, The Reader included. Someone should say something about the importance of journalism before too long.
So, who are thou FGFM?
i'm still kind of curious about those of you who had harsh things to say about mary. why don't you use your full names when you post? are you afraid? Is someone out to get you? And for the record, Charlie Madigan did not run the paper into the ground. He did run Perspective, the national desk, the washington bureau as news editor, the projects desk, the Atlanta bureau and built the news desk with stalwarts from city news. Screw you for not knowing.
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