As many newspapers around the country crash and burn (Rocky Mountain News in Denver shut down last week), I asked my colleague Mark Trahant if I could post this letter he just sent me. He said it’s OK. The hour-by-hour countdown is on for Mark. He is about to leave the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper, which is going out of business. Mark has been one of my greatest inspirations in journalism. He’s an outstanding reporter and role model. I hope he finds a place in journalism once the chips fall. His contact information is included. I’m sure many people will want to keep up with him.
Read his letter:
Dear Jodi (you know all this, but thought you’d like to see the letter I am sending),
Ogden Nash once wrote:
I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.
This poem wants me to adjust my Fedora, stick a press card in the crown, and shout out, “Give me rewrite!”
Yes, I agree with him that it’s difficult to enthuse over the current news. But this is not an era going so right for so many of the wrong persons. The idea should be flipped: Much is going wrong for the right persons; we’re in this mess together.
I am sending this note because in a few days this email address fades away – as does my time at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I’m writing because I want to make sure you have my contact information. I also want you to know: I have had a blast. I never could have imagined three decades of so much professional fun. Every newspaper job I’ve had has been exciting and intellectually challenging. I’ve worked with great people and colorful characters. All along I’ve thought: “This is too good to be true. One of these days, they’ll stop paying me to do this.” Even though that date is quickly approaching, I can’t complain about a thing.