Saturday, March 3, 2007

more code

I came into the news game in San Francisco in 1960 when there were bars with such names as "The Fourth Estate" and "The Byline" that catered to reporters and editors. Those havens and heavens are long gone, victims of change that snuffed out smoking, a subculture and a profession. I was a cub for just a month or so when I saw two reporters fight in an alley outside a bar because one called the other a "hack" for always writing that "the union demanded" and "the company offered." Never the other way around. Today journalists belong to advocacy groups, which would have been heresy when I got my first press pass.
I was never called a hack, a word I would have regarded as a compliment. To "hack" out 400 words or so under deadline pressure was the essence of reporting at a wire service, which has a deadline every minute. Somewhere a newspaper, radio or TV station needs that story - and needs it now.
I know that today many people get their news from the net, but most of them are lost when asked "where does the Internet gets its news?"

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