Wednesday, June 17, 2009

News as an Endangered Species


pomonacollegecover.jpgThe current issue of Pomona College Magazine examines the future of news, drawing on journalist alums: Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times; Richard Pérez-Peña, who covers newspapers for the NYT; and Mary Schmich, the Chicago Tribune columnist who writes the Brenda Starr comic. There are also pieces by former L.A. Times writer Agustin Gurza, on El Espectador del Valle, a Spanish-language newspaper in Pomona since the 1930s, and by current LAT staffer Ellen Alperstein. Editor Mark Wood's note recounts the night the newspaper where he worked in Alabama burned down:

I’ve thought back to that night at times as I’ve watched the nation’s entire newspaper industry seem to burn slowly but inexorably to ashes. I don’t really think of myself as a journalist any more, but there are some loyalties that never fade, and the ethic of the journalist—the feeling of being part of a tradition that is honest, exacting and important—is something I still cherish. That tradition is why I have faith that this is only a transition. Newpapers may fade into history, but journalism as a profession and a positive force will endure. The alternative is simply impossible for me to imagine.
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