The Role Of The Historian

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It’s early Saturday morning and I’m driving through history on my way to history. Like the hills I’m traveling through, the rain ebbs and flows in calm undulating waves.

“Calm” and “undulating” might not go together at first glance but think of sinusoidal waves. They move up and down with precise regularity. That regularity equates to calmness. The “up and down” represents “undulation” defined.

Such is the role of the historian, who commands the log of the human ship through waves of foible fads, ever trying to keep it calm and undamaged, despite its erratic and often misguided crew.

“Memory, thy name be frailty.” The metaphor of this butchered Shakespearian quote suggests the theme of this essay. It also represents the burden of the historian.Continue Reading “The Role Of The Historian”

The Difference Between a Reporter and a Columnist

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I interviewed a prospective intern the other day and she asked a very interesting question. I was explaining how, because our vast publishing empire does so many things – from print to digital, from text to video, from social media to books – we have the flexibility to design an internship program customized to her specific needs and wants. I asked her, “What should you have on your resume that would most impress your future employer? Chances are, you can get that by interning here.”

She was contemplating a different question, though. Something I had told her about what I do intrigued her, and she wanted to explore that. So, instead of answering my question, she asked me one of her own.

“What’s the difference between a reporter and a columnist?”

I leaned back in my chair. Wow, I thought, what a great question!

I had told her I did both. She wanted to know specifically how the two journalism functions Continue Reading “The Difference Between a Reporter and a Columnist”

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