Sunday, April 26, 2009

"All right, Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my close-up."

Maureen Dowd compares newspapers to Norma Desmond -- the aging actress in "Sunset Boulevard" -- in today's NY Times. She also chats up the SF Chronicle's Phil Bronstein, who takes her on a nostalgia tour of the paper, the scenes of some of the paper's best reporting, and the soon to be obsolete icon of hard-driving newsfolk: the newspaper bar.

Read it here.

Here's a taste:

We drove around the city for hours, looking at places where journalism had had an impact. At police headquarters, [Bronstein] told of The Chronicle’s coverage of police brutality that forced the department to create a database tracking misbehaving officers. He talked about the paper’s AIDS coverage as we drove through the Castro and past San Francisco General Hospital, where the AIDS wards once overflowed. Parked outside the Giants’ ballpark, he praised the paper’s reporting on Barry Bonds and the steroids scandal, noting that “there are far fewer fly balls going out in the bay.”

His tour ended with cold comfort, as he observed that longer life expectancies may keep us on life support. “For people who still love print, who like to hold it, feel it, rustle it, tear stuff out, do their I. F. Stone thing, it’s important to remember that people are living longer,” he said. “That’s the most hopeful thing you can say about print journalism, that old people are living longer.”

No comments: