deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Archive for December 11th, 2007

Journalism then; journalism now: comprehending the difference

with one comment

I became a journalist for my hometown newspaper in the spring of 1970, bearing only a degree in geology, the writing skills gained in only one worthwhile college English course, and a pronounced inability to type speedily or accurately. This was years before Watergate, before the downfall of a flawed Richard Nixon inspired a generation of innocents reared in their presumed rebellion of the ’60s to head off to the suddenly booming industry called journalism school. They all wanted to make a difference.

For the first six months, my reporting led many readers to believe my middle name was “correction.” I was a terrible reporter at first. I had more than a dozen corrections of my stories printed in that first half year. I had only three in the next 19 1/2 years (and I’m still arguing about two of them).

Neil L. Perry made himself my newsroom godfather and over time, forged me into a competent, credible journalist. He, with the help of my first sports editor, John Haywood; my news editor, David James; and my managing editor, Bob Dolan, taught me the practice, purpose and values of journalism. What they taught me then I teach to undergraduates today. Their lessons have retained value. But the corporations that own newsrooms today understand too little those lessons.
Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

December 11, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized