Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The life of kings and the death of princes

Hat tip to 'Ville Voice for posting this.

Since graduation I've submitted my life to journalism. From my brief stint at the C-J's youth blog to the alternative pages freelancing at LEO, I've found a niche. So much that I've paused my love of political science and applied instead to the Academy of Alternative Journalism in Chicago, IL, hopefully for this summer.

I write, that is my life.

Sadly, the profession that H.L. Mencken once called "the life of kings" is terminally ill and dying across the country. In some places the tombstone is already set (Louisville?).

In a stinging piece in Esquire, David Simon, former Baltimore Sun reporter and creator of the best fiction in modern America: HBO's The Wire, parallels his biography with the history of decaying newspapers.

He begins:

"Watergate and Vietnam had shown how essential a sophisticated newspaper could be, had proven that while the daily chase of sirens might belong to television, the examination of real issues would demand smarter, comprehensive coverage..."

And ends:

"...the new way of doing business apparently leaves no place in the newsroom for fundamental disagreements about content, about reportage, about the substance of what we are doing or not doing. Arguments over quotidian matters such as the slant of Mideast coverage, or an ethical debate over attribution, or the use and overuse of a stylistic device will soon bring transfers and demotions until, finally, an exodus begins."

1 comment:

Attica Scott said...

You will be coming back home to Louisville, correct? Don't let Chicago keep you!