Sunday, November 13, 2011

Best of comments


At the tail end of the Vietnam era, I served as an Air Force public affairs NCO. What was striking, even at the time, was the wide gulf between the Ernie Pyle and the David Halbertram generations of civilian journalists.

The former were overwhelmingly veterans themselves, never went to J school, had a wide variety of life experiences outside both the classroom and the newsroom, and regarded what they did as a trade learned on the job. The later were virtually all graduates J schools, regarded the military with open contempt,had little to no life experiences outside of journalism, felt they were on a mission to "improve" society, and considered themselves practitioners of a noble profession. Today they are the managing editors and publishers who, without any reflection or self-awareness, decide what the rest of us need to know.

No wonder the profession is dying.