Tag Archives: j-school

This Week in Great Sentences

On death, immortality and slipping into the future:

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A few days later, Patient No. 93 was hoisted up on a forklift head first, like a hibernating bat, beside invisible cats, inside a seven-thousand-square-foot building in an industrial park in the heart of America, where some of the sorriest ideas of a godforsaken and alienated modern culture endure.

Jill Lepore, “The Iceman,” New Yorker, Jan. 25, on Robert Ettinger, founder of the cryonics movement.

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Why, within the clerk’s small store alone, there were notepads and gauze pads and corn pads and sanitary pads and heating pads and cleansing pads. He also knew, making his living in a slightly medical field, that periods happen, and sanitary pads exist, and that neither of these facts is worth getting all giggly and red-faced about.

Kate Dailey, “The iPad: Love It or Hate It, but Leave Periods Out of It,” Newsweek, Jan. 27

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These schools of thought, if that is the right word, are politically correct and value vacuous, citing social purpose as the purpose and yet violating the basic principle of reporting, which is that we should genuinely have the objective of being objective. Many of these individuals would be far better servants of society if they joined an NGO or charity in which they could more coherently expiate their bourgeois guilt.

Robert Thomson, (editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal), “End of the World As We Know It,” The Australian, Jan. 23, taking jabs at J schools, googles, aggregators and bailouts.

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The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.  No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there.

Barack Obama, “State of the Union,” Jan. 27

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I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except

sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.

J.D. Salinger, “Catcher in the Rye,” 1951

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Drink one tonight for Reese, the PI

Things to Drink in Honor Of — March 16 edition

1) The passing of Reese Cleghorn, former University of Maryland j-school dean, professor and once a giant in the world of southern newspapers:

Former Observer editorial editor dies

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com

Reese Cleghorn, who led The Observer’s editorial department during the turbulent changes of the early 1970s and later built a nationally prominent journalism department at the University of Maryland, died early Monday.

Cleghorn, 78, had taught at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism until December, when failing health forced him to retire.

Funeral details and other information are forthcoming, University of Maryland officials say.

A bunch of us had Reese for editorial writing in fall 2003 and have nothing but fond memories. He was crazy, disorganized a little out of touch, and stuck painfully to a requirement that students turn in assignments on floppy disks. But every so often a glimmer of incisive commentary or brilliant news comprehension would shine through, or he’d pass out an old column of his full of clever turns of phrase and hard-hitting aphorisms, and we’d be reminded: in his heyday, this guy was among the best.He may have been humorous in class, but when his red pen hit paper, it was sharp and cutting and spoke with diamond-tipped authority forged under the high-pressure environments  of the newsroom.

One assignment was to created an Automatic Bullshit Detector. Out of stuff like soda bottles, toilet paper rolls, rubber bands, paper clips and paper plates. I spent an inordinately long amount of time on mine.

He essentially built Maryland’s J-school into the program it is today, and students coming out of there over the past two decades owe a lot to him (he also, of note, was dean during Jayson Blair’s rise through the school).

2) The passing of the print edition of the Seattle PI, becoming the largest newspaper to close its print edition. I know these things are inevitable at this point, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a sad reminder worth noting. The paper plans to keep publishing online and remake itself as an new type of media company, and maybe they’ll find success eventually.

This Simpler Times’s for you.