Sunday, September 14, 2008

Media: Reporter Transitions

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA - The world (foremost the blogosphere) has lost three major media resources of late.

It came to my attention that former Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll has decided to become a firefighter in Fairfax County, Virginia. I missed this news when it first came out, but it was referred to incidentally in a recent World Edition of the monitor. One thing we can say about Carroll, who was held hostage for nearly three months in Iraq in 2006, is that she must be attracted to all kinds of danger.

Those in the Pacific Northwest and interested in politics have by now heard that David Postman is leaving the Seattle Times for Paul Allen's Vulcan, Inc. to do media relations. Postman had become the single most reliable source for political stories in the Seattle area, appearing on everything from TV-W to filling in on talk radio stations, and was an early blogger. His move leaves a gigantic hole in the northwest. Postman himself had effectively become more important after the recent departure of Robert Mak from KING-5 in Seattle.

A reporter of a different kind has disappeared from the web. Tod Maffin has ensured that both internal Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) employees and the world at large have gotten insight into the workings of the CBC through editing the Inside the CBC Blog. However, Maffin is now moving on to other things and it is not at all clear what will happen with the blog.

Wise bloggers understand that most of their content ultimately comes from traditional reporters out doing classic investigative work. Now, not only are we losing those journalistic foot soldiers like Carroll and Postman, we are even losing the gatekeepers trying to keep the information flow going like Maffin.

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