Later, Mr. Journalist

Gapers Block features a column by longtime Sun-Times reporter Howard Wolinsky who accepted a buyout and is now freelancing.  The column discusses the ups and downs of the newsroom at the Sun-Times, mostly describing how the paper did (and did not) react to the advent of the interhyperglobalnet.

A Northwestern journalism student interviewed me today for a story she’s writing about The Neo-Futurists. She’s got Prof. McClory, who I had six years ago, a time when I was regularly trucking out to the West Side to interview people at a community center… and I somehow thought it was ok for Amanda and I to show up at his office in our pajamas, collapse on the floor and plead for another extension.

I’ve got mixed feelings about my Medill education: I became a more ruthless editor, a bolder interviewer, a sharper observer, a more precise writer. I also lost some of my lust for language and the art of writing, until I shook off the comma police and started drinking in the sound of words again.

I’m not sure what the future brings for today’s journalists-in-training. Howard Wolinsky says, rather optimistically:Those of you who dream journalism dreams, I would urge you to follow them. It will be a challenging, changing environment, but you’ll be able to get the word out in new ways. I don’t know what will happen. We may save the trees. Publishing may go all digital. Maybe we’ll carry hand-held devices to scoop up “content” from the ether. New business models will have to emerge to pay the bills.

Update: Ok, I thought about it. And… I still really care about commas.

4 thoughts on “Later, Mr. Journalist

  1. Hmm… well, Mr. Wolinsky thinks content may come from the ether. Is that what’s in The Hitchhiker’s Guide? I’m a bad nerd, I haven’t read it.

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