Magazine article The Masthead

A Hunger for Engagement with a Changing World: Aging Ink-Stained Wretches? Guilty. out of Touch with a Transforming Industry? Look Again

Magazine article The Masthead

A Hunger for Engagement with a Changing World: Aging Ink-Stained Wretches? Guilty. out of Touch with a Transforming Industry? Look Again

Article excerpt

When H. L. Mencken addressed the National Conference of Editorial Writers in 1947, he pulled no punches in his assessment of the craft or its practitioners.

Dull. Uninformed. Isolated, Michael Gartner, author of Outrage, Passion, and Uncommon Sense, reminded us at the 2005 convention. "A bunch of old reporters with bad legs and old deskmen who no longer could spell."

Ahem.

Well, Mencken would still probably find a bunch of old (yet still vital) reporters in the crowd. He'd see more women to be sure. But he'd see also a new species of editorial writer emerging as newspapering changes beyond what Mencken could have foreseen sixty years ago.

Among his audience would be budding videographers, bloggers, and podcasters--all devoted to refuting Menckeffs allegation of complacent isolationism. He would see ink-stained wretches consulting their always nicely turned-out broadcasting colleagues for tips on audio and video recording.

He would see a hunger for engagement.

Many NCEW members have jumped into the transformation of the newspapering industry, engaging readers in new ways:

* NCEW board member Dick Hughes posts early drafts of his Sunday editorial on the Web, requesting reader comments before it is finalized and put in the print edition.

* Stephanie Gattman of The Truth in Elkhart, Indiana, donned a robe and straight face to read a tongue-in-cheek eulogy for "Indiana Time" in her newspaper's first video editorial.

* NCEW President J.R. Labbe and a staff photographer visited a cemetery together then merged their talents into an emotional slideshow that honors the sacrifice of war and military service. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.