Earlier this week I read a post by the hero of reporters everywhere, David Simon. Simon, most famous for bringing us The Wire, wrote a blog post called “Why Beat Reporters Matter.” As a former reporter, who now edits a magazine about digital media (including journalism), and happened to write a funny, lighthearted novel about a reporter, I came at the article with a wealth of opinions on the subject.
The sinecure of professional prose journalism, which is now threatened by a new economic model, was the only place in my city where resources were once allocated for an independent, unaligned voice to spend years in the bowels of a civic institution — long enough that I began to understand what a statistic might represent, and what it might not represent.
Let’s face it, I was a reporter at a community newspaper in a smallish town. I did cover the police for a while, but that mostly meant reporting DUIs. I am no David Simon. But this got me thinking about, oddly enough, Fiona vs. the Foot Tickler. Continue reading