A hunger for engagement with a changing world: aging ink-stained wretches? Guilty. out of touch with a transforming industry? Look again.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 Michael Gartner (born October 25, 1938, in Des Moines, Iowa) is an American journalist and businessman. He is also President of the Iowa Board of Regents. He is a graduate of Carleton College and the New York University School of Law. , 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."
Used to attract attention or to express doubt or warning.
a clearing of the throat, used to attract attention or express doubt
Noun 1. .
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 news·pa·per·ing
Noun 1. newspapering - journalism practiced for the newspapers
journalism - the profession of reporting or photographing or editing news stories for one of the media 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 isolationism
National policy of avoiding political or economic entanglements with other countries. Isolationism has been a recurrent theme in U.S. history. It was given expression in the Farewell Address of Pres. . 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 NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers 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.
* Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers The Treasure Coast Newspapers serve residents in five counties located along the Treasure Coast and The Gold Coast of southeast Florida, one of the wealthiest markets in the country. They are owned by the E. W. Scripps Company and have a daily circulation of 120,000. , in a take-off on the reality TV show Survivor, had readers voting for the best community blogger. It was so successful, editorial page editor Larry Reisman launched a sequel: Survivor: Treasure Coast Blogfest 2.
* On election night, the Dallas Morning News editorial page staffers indulged political junkies. They took their laptops home to blog their impressions as the results came in.
* Podcasts of the San Francisco Chronicle The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. The paper grew along with San Francisco to become the largest circulation newspaper on the West Coast of the editorial board meeting with singer/activist Bono ranked among the highest hits for the whole newspaper.
* Eddie Roth at the Dayton Daily News The Dayton Daily News (DDN) is a daily newspaper published in Dayton, Ohio. It is owned by Cox Enterprises.
On August 15, 1898, James M. Cox purchased the Dayton Evening News. is morphing from editorial writer into self-taught videographer A person involved in the production of video material. Videographers shoot the images with a video camera (analog or digital) and may perform minimal or extensive editing of the resulting footage. as he tries to do a multimedia presentation once a month.
This can be a scary new world for editorial writers, especially since many of us arrived in our positions at mid-career without the Internet savvy that is second-nature to Generations X and Y.
But the possibilities are endless, as these and others are demonstrating. The NCEW board recently expanded the Broadcast Committee's role to include a focus on New Media.
Check out the NCEW Innovations page, listed under Member Services on ncew.org for more ideas.
Please send in links of your work to share with members at kriley@ seattletimes.com
Kate Riley, editorial writer for The Seattle Times, is NCEW's Innovations Committee chair. E-mail email@example.com