Saturday, July 18, 2009
This evening I'll try again to leave the country. Flight loads are much lower than last time, and so there's a much better chance that we'll make it on (or, at the least, dart over to Atlanta and hop on from there). I'm finally catching my breath, having double-checked my numbers and turned in final grades; I can put this quarter behind me and look forward to the next (and I may see a few of the same students back again...)
I can't add much to the retrospectives on Walter Cronkite, who passed away last night; he was a part of another generation. The Onion's headline put it best: "Most, Last Trusted Man in America Dies." Today's media are so loud, dissonant voices competing for attention. The noisiest come out on top, not the best. When I think of Cronkite, I think of his voice: it carried authority and demanded respect not because it was loudest but because it told the truth.
The new faces of journalism aren't Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson. The evening news serves a purpose, but today when the news is changing 24/7 and that change is being broadcast on cnn, msnbc, Fox, not to mention the internet all of those hours, that purpose is diminishing. No, the new faces of journalism are those of people like Andrew Sullivan, Josh Marshall, and countless others who pursue truth and try to communicate it to the public.
So off I go. I have a few hours to pick out what books to take and what journals.