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From AJR,   October/November 2006


By AJR Staff

"In addition to telling you it was hot yesterday, we can also tell you many interesting tidbits about the heat. We call these sidebars.

"For instance, we sent reporters out the other day to find the places in the region that smelled the worst because of the heat. Get it? That's a sidebar.

"Tomorrow, if it stays hot, we will think of other sidebars. Maybe we will go out and ask people how they are coping with the heat. Once the editors put their minds to it, the sidebar possibilities are endless.

"Did you know that heat waves are a major cause of back injuries among reporters? It comes from hiding under their desks for hours at a time, trying to avoid sidebars."

--Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick Jr. on the front-page news that it gets hot during summer

"[T]his is the time when we're supposed to say nice things about our editor, and in this case, it was George Condon, our bureau chief.

"But I'm thinking back on that first story, and he was such a pain. He kept coming to me and saying, 'Are you writing yet? Are you writing yet?' And then he had the temerity to rewrite my lead.

"So, despite all his good effort all the way through the story, and a lot of other people's, I think I'll just thank Randy 'Duke' Cunningham for being so enthusiastically bad at what he did--at corruption."

--Copley News Service's Marcus Stern, accepting the National Press Club's Washington Correspondence Award for his work with colleague Jerry Kammer disclosing then-Rep. Cunningham's bribe-taking

"What makes [I.F.] Stone a model, whether to the Mainstream or the New Media, is at the core of journalism--he reported.

"He had plenty of opinions and shared them eloquently, but the backbone of Stone's work was giving the public information that was new or largely unknown. Because he could document the information, his columns had credibility, a quality that is essential to success in whatever medium."

--Chicago Tribune Public Editor Timothy J. McNulty

"The anger and lack of confidence most Americans have in the news media today is partly based on real-life examples they have seen and heard. But much of the image of the journalist as a money-grubbing, selfish, arrogant scoundrel is based on images from movies and television."

--Joseph Saltzman, director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture project at the University of Southern California, as quoted by the New York Times' David Carr

"They're so busy making decisions that they don't have time to read."

--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill journalism professor Philip Meyer, jokingly responding to the idea that newspapers don't do so good a job targeting women despite the fact that they make so many decisions, at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in San Francisco in August



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