Class Notes. (Niemen Notes)

Article excerpt


William German retired as editor emeritus of the San Francisco Chronicle in May. German joined the Chronicle as a copy boy in 1940 and went on to work as a reporter and copy editor, as copy desk chief, and in various senior management positions. He took over as editor in 1993 and began writing a column on the media when he became editor emeritus in 2000. In an article marking German's exit from the paper, Chronicle staffwriter Carl Nolte noted that, by the time he retired, German "had held every single editorial job on the paper except full-time staff photographer."


Selig S. Harrison's sixth book on Asian affairs, "Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement," was published by the Princeton University Press in May. Former President Jimmy Carter called it "the best analysis I have seen of the difficult policy choices facing the United States in Korea."

Harrison has visited North Korea seven times and met the late Kim II Sung twice. "Korean Endgame" combines his personal experiences in Korea--as Washington Post bureau chief in Northeast Asia and as a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for 22 years--with policy-focused scholarly analysis.

Harrison is a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy in Washington. His op-ed articles appear in The Washington Post, The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. He contributes frequently to Le Monde Diplomatique, Hankyoreh Shinmun of Seoul, and other foreign publications.


John F. "Jack" Burby died of cancer at his home in Avila Beach, California, near San Luis Obispo, on July 6. He was 77.

Burby, who served in the South Pacific as an Army pilot during World War II, began his journalism career in Hawaii as a reporter for United Press. Following his Nieman Fellowship, Burby spent several years as press secretary to California Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown; he also worked for the Department of Transportation and wrote a book titled "The Great American Motion Sickness; or, Why You Can't Get There From Here." After stints as an editor at the National Journal and as president of Potomac Policy Inc., a federal policy consulting firm, Burby joined the Los Angeles Times as an editorial writer in 1978. He was the Times' deputy editorial page editor through much of the 1980's, and returned to editorial writing full time at the paper in 1989. Burby worked briefly as an editorial writer for The New York Times in the early 1990's before retiring.

One of Burby's sons, David, is working to establish an award or fellowship in his father's name. "The John F. Burby Award for Ethical Excellence in Journalism is its current form," he says. "Ethics in journalism is something my father had great concerns about. He loved his profession. He was very ethical, the most ethical person I knew."

Burby's wife, Lois Luke, died in 1994. He is survived by his longtime companion, Joyce Palaia, and his children, Karen Norman, Meg Burby, David Burby and Timothy Burby, and three grandchildren.

Contributions in Burby's name can be made to the following organizations: the redwood conservation organization Sempervirens Fund, P.O. Drawer BE, Los Altos, Calif. 94023; the Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, 277 South St., Suite R, San Luis Obispo, Calif. 93401, and Friends of the River, 915 20th St., Sacramento, Calif. 95814.


Dan Berger writes, "I retired as editorial writer and author of the terse comments, `Bergerisms,' just before my 35th anniversary at The Sun, staying put in Baltimore and enjoying life."

Berger's e-mail address is:


Larry L. King is writing his 15th book, "In Search of Willie Morris," a biography of his late editor at Harper's magazine from 1964-71. …