Loser career — journalism

Now he speaks up. What about all those graduation commencement speeches Lou? Why did you mislead all those gullible liberal journalists back then, when you could have made a difference?

Ed (Lou Grant) Asner says: “I was a high school journalist and wanted to go into it because it was dashing and exciting. One day in college, my instructor, whom I revered, passed by my desk and said, ‘Are you thinking of journalism as a career?’ And I said, ‘yeah.’ She came back and said, ‘I wouldn’t … you can’t make any money at it.’ With that, I washed away any plans that I had.”

No wonder the same group of liberal journalists are so easily fooled by Big Brother/Al Gore tax and control schemes like “global warming.”

Big Brother = good.

Big Business = bad.

Another Major Newspaper Shuttered — The Cincinnati Post

Yesterday was the final press run of the Cincinnati Post. Turn out the lights, the Post is over. Note that even the paper’s “obituary” was written by a freelance journalist, not one of the staff. Telling isn’t it? The full-time Post writers didn’t even care enough to write it.

By Lew Moores
Post contributor

The history of The Cincinnati Post and Kentucky Post in the last four decades has been something of an exquisite paradox – an afternoon newspaper that had managed to attract incredible talent and practice a scrappy brand of journalism over those years while staring inexorably into the face of declining revenues and, ultimately, business failure.

What had been thought to be inevitable – certainly in the past decade or so – becomes indisputable today as The Post will cease publication.

A consensus emerges among more than a few Post alumni – even in the last 30 years as it functioned under a Joint Operating Agreement with the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Post was a joyride filled with effervescent memories.

Many Post alumni have also found their way into careers outside journalism, contributing to the community in other ways.

The Post was where Ken Bunting, now associate publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, practiced his incomparable brand of shoe-leather journalism. It was where Bob Mong, executive editor of the Dallas Morning News, was allowed to pursue hard-hitting, in-depth reporting. It was where Mike Blackman, who went on to become editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Polk Laffoon IV, who went on to a remarkable career with Knight Ridder newspapers, both set the standards here in the ’70s for literary journalism.

It was where Michael Kelly cut his journalistic teeth in the early 1980s before moving on to the Baltimore Sun to the New York Times to the New Yorker to the New Republic to Atlantic Monthly. His was a meteoric career before it ended tragically in April 2003 when he was killed covering the early stages of the war in Iraq.

“The Post spawned a whole bunch of really interesting talent that left Cincinnati richer for the journalism they practiced,” recalls William R. Burleigh, chairman of the E.W. Scripps Co., parent company of The Post, and Post editor-in-chief from 1977 to 1983. “I think it was because The Post was always the underdog, and as a result was able to be not quite as conventional as the other paper in town and could afford some risks.”

The Post will also leave a legacy of service to the community in the many people who worked there who have gone on to serve in other community roles. Judy Clabes, for example, is president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of E.W. Scripps, in addition to serving in a variety of other community roles. She was editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Post for 13 years, 1983 to 1996.

“My philosophy was we had to be connected to the community,” says Clabes. “I think we accomplished that. The staff was really connected to the community.”

Proof of that is former staffers who moved on and yet remained in the area and state. Jay Fossett, city manager of Covington since 2005, worked as a reporter and in an editing role on the sports desk at The Kentucky Post from 1981 to 1985.

J. Patrick Moynahan is a vice provost at Northern Kentucky University who worked at the Kentucky Post from 1984 to 1991, serving as city editor and assistant managing editor.

Mike Farrell, who worked at The Kentucky Post for 20 years as a reporter and managing editor, is the director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches journalism.

Mark Neikirk, former reporter, city editor and managing editor, is now executive director of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and Nonprofit Development at Northern Kentucky University.

Paul Knue, who had one of the longest tenures at both the Cincinnati and Kentucky Post among editors-in-chief, grew up in Lawrenceburg, Ind., reading The Post. He worked in Cincinnati from 1970 to 1975 as a copy editor and Weekender editor, left for Evansville, Ind., for another Scripps paper, returned as Kentucky Post editor in 1979, became Cincinnati Post editor in1983 and retired in 2001.

“We may be behind the eight-ball, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be pound for pound as good a newspaper as anybody else,” said Knue of his first years as editor here, with the JOA already in place. “We aimed for a culture that says we’re gonna work our asses off, we’re gonna kick butt, we’re gonna work harder.”

Jim Lehrer tells journalism students at the very expensive, private university, Northwestern, that even though the pay is low, they should enter the field.

Mick Gregory

Not that much of a pep talk for future jounalisits, who’s parents were paying $45,000 a year for them to attend and live near campus at Chicago’s Northwestern University.

Note to future journalists: you will not even make your college tuition for years, if ever, in the media.
Please, do some investigative work on the future of the industry.

Jim Le-h-r-er, the host of PBS’s “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” discussed journalism, and the “revolution” within it Wednesday afternoon in the half-full McCormick Auditorium in Norris University Center.

“Revolutions are seldom pleasant,” Lehrer said. “The screams from newsrooms are those of panic.”

But like any good journalist, his introduction was quickly followed by a summary of his findings: that the demise of mainstream media may be exaggerated.

“I think we have fear itself to fear,” Lehrer said. “The bloggers are commentators, the search engines search. In the beginning, there must be journalism.”

Lehrer spoke as this year’s Minow Visiting Professor in Communications. He is most known for his work on “NewsHour,” which he co-founded with Robert MacNeil in 1982 and has hosted ever since. Lehrer also has hosted 10 presidential debates and written 17 novels, two memoirs and three plays.

The Minow professorship was established by Northwestern alumni Josephine Minow and Newton N. Minow. Previous visiting professors included Walter Cronkite, Frank Rich and Judy Woodruff.

“No one better embodies the ideals of the Minow professorship,” said John Lavine, dean of Medill. “Along with Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, (Lehrer) is one of the greatest anchors of his or any age.”

Lehrer began by lauding Newton Minow, a longtime NU professor and former Federal Communications Commission chairman, who famously called television “a vast wasteland.”

“He is the guiding spirit of all of us trying to make something meaningful on television,” Lehrer said. “Simply, directly and accurately put, Newt is a hero to the people.”

Lehrer said that while journalism itself is in no danger of disappearing, the quality of journalism has to be maintained, if not improved.

Excerpt of memo from Detroit Free Press publisher David Hunke

Dear co-workers,

Due to worsening economic conditions, Detroit Media Partnership is offering a voluntary severance program.

At this time, the program is being offered to active, benefit-eligible non-represented employees of the partnership and Detroit Free Press who are 50 years of age or older with at least 10 years of credited service as of October 12. …

We have contacted union leaders to extend this offer to the bargaining unit employees who are eligible. …

The program offers two weeks of severance for every year of credited service – up to 52 weeks. … The offer is open until November 2. We are looking for 110 volunteers. If more than 110 volunteer, we will review whether we can expand the pool. Decisions about which volunteers will be accepted will be based on position and seniority. If the voluntary offer doesn’t result in a sufficient number of volunteers, or if, in the future, economic conditions worsen, it may be necessary to consider layoffs.

Excerpt of memo from editor Paul Anger

We will be reducing our newsroom workforce by about 5%. We will say goodbye to some outstanding journalists and great friends who see this as a timely opportunity to make a transition in their lives, and we will take the time to celebrate their contribution. …We’re transforming our industry from ground level.

Journalism — not just for the ‘professionals’ any longer. Was it ever?

By Mick Gregory

Instead of a lecture from a biased liberal reporter who dropped out of college, citizen journalists create conversation. How often have you heard liberals attacking Dr Laura Schlessinger‘s credintials?

How about the credentials of your everyday journalist hack?

Peter Jennings didn’t go to college. Come to think of it, how about Dan Rather? I believe he attended Sam Houston State. Not much bragging about that.

Those are liberals, that’s why you don’t hear about their lack of education.

Michael Savage has multiple degrees including a doctorate. Bill O’Reilly has a BA and Master’s Degree. You don’t read much about that in the mainstream media.

Journalism is no longer a career left just to the “professionals,” author and media entrepreneur Dan Gillmor said Tuesday at ASU.

Gillmor, founder of “the Gillmor Gang” and the Citizen Media Law Project with Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley, said journalism is shifting as digital technology allows readers to become spot-news reporters.

“We can all be media creators now,” Gillmor said. “With everyone walking around with a digital camera in their cell phone, it changes things.”

He pointed to the recent bridge collapse in Minnesota for an example.

Gillmor said many people fled the scene in the moments after the collapse Aug. 2. But others pulled out their cell phone cameras and ran toward the catastrophe to take pictures.

“That person did what I like to call a random act of journalism,” Gillmor said. “Professional journalists or not, all of us will have a chance to do these random acts at some point.”

He said digital technology has empowered citizens to document some of the most historic events in recent years. Flight passengers on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, made phone calls and sent text messages minutes before crashing in the World Trade Center.

“Just imagine if they had the technology to send video from inside the plane,” Gillmor said.

He also said the authentic sound of gunshots fired on the Virginia Tech campus were captured by a student recording with a cell phone.

“The change in media is fast and amazing,” Gillmor said.
Should citizens sit on their hands and wait for the “professional journalistis?”

He said the process and order of print journalism has already changed. Newspapers that used to hit driveways once a day now publish minute-by-minute reports online. And he said citizen or community journalists are furthering this change, with major contributions.

Gillmor defines citizen journalists as everyday people who serve as their own reporters and contribute to traditional news by setting up Web sites and capturing videos or pictures of newsworthy events.

The emergence of citizen media is transforming news from lecture to conversation, Gillmor said. Internet, cell phones, digital cameras and immediate access to computerized tools are transforming how, and by whom, news is made and consumed.

“The question we should be asking is not so much who is the journalist anymore, but more so, what is journalism?” Gillmor said.

Many of us are questioning why journalists are considered professionals? Are bus drivers and garbage collectors professionals?