Where I remember journalism class things

First the shooting in Parkland, Florida happened. And then the boycotts of businesses that do business with NRA came. And then a few of those businesses reacted, or just acted. (One can never be sure and, for our purposes here, it doesn’t matter all that much.) One of those businesses was Delta, which said they would pull their NRA travel deal.

Then, the great state of Georgia decided this was a political moment with which to motivate. So there’s this moment where one state office-holder wants another office and figures, if Delta doesn’t back NRA, I can make some hay in the next election by picking a fight with Delta.

And this impacts Delta because the carrot in this “and the stick” formulation is a $50 million gas tax chit. Georgia will vote on this sooner or later, but civic officials elsewhere aren’t wasting time, and the courting of the airline has begun.

This is the basis of today’s podcast, which features a return of one of the original way-back-when guests, my old friend and now Knight Journalism Fellow, AndrĂ© Natta.

The only problem with having Natta on this particular program is having to cut about 10 good minutes of material to keep the show in its format. That’s one of those good problems to have, really, but it doesn’t make any nicer to edit. Also, he tends to select stories that let us recycle the program several times, which is very nice.

Anyway, he’s out at Stanford just now with this fellowship, and it is the first time I’ve spoken with him in person in some time. Sounds like he’s doing well, too, plus he also met Ted Koppel today, which is one of those things you can do at these great big programs. Last week we had Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, a freelance journalist killed in Syria, in to speak. Anthony DeCurtis, from Rolling Stone, was just in a class. So was Pat Walters, from Radiolab. That’s just the last few days around here, and just on the journalism side. Kathleen Jamieson Hall is here right now doing her usual amazing work with political communication. It was really neat to meet her this week. (As a journalist, I used to interview David Lanoue. As a grad student I studied under the great Larry Powell and Gary Copeland. You can fairly say my political science communication cup has runneth over.) Oh, and Dan Balz will be here next month. Balz is a chief correspondent at The Washington Post, where he started in 1978. He’s been covering politics there my entire life.

The only speaker I remember from my undergraduate program was a guy from the local paper and a man who was a bombardier shot down over Schweinfurt, Germany during World War II. The guy that taught us photojournalism was the biggest star they ever managed to land. And he worked there. He’d also cut his teeth in the business covering the Civil Rights Movement, the Freedom Riders and Bloody Sunday, so this was no small thing. He was far and away the best journalist we ever heard from, and he was on the faculty. And that was, for the time, a decent journalism program. Maybe its different now.

Tomorrow night I’ll hear Hall, who is the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center for the third time this week. You might say that’s working out in my favor.

Comments are closed.