Journalism can still be a busy life | Columnists
Our nephew from Betsy’s side of the family graduated from high school today in Indianapolis.
He’ll head to Indiana University on a prestigious Ernie Pyle Scholarship – named after the beloved World War II journalist – to study journalism.
Apparently no one told Nicholas Rodecap that the term “loved” rarely applies to journalists.
IU should warn him that jobs for print journalists are disappearing faster than the polar ice cap. Broadcast journalists have become divisive figures, loved or hated, depending on your favorite political color.
However, it’s good to know that a career in journalism still appeals to someone – because I would tell them that it can be satisfying, useful and fun, if you don’t mind the long chances of getting rich.
My journey into journalism began by writing for the East Noble High School newspaper, learning that I loved it, and doing it for the next 55 years.
I once thought my path would take me to the big cities of America, but instead it took me home to northeast Indiana, where the Kurtzes have lived for more than 100 years. ‘a century. I soon discovered that it is important to report on the places and people you know best.
Journalists may have lost much of their popularity, but I had a much better experience. My love for my community has only deepened over the years, and the community has loved me back.
The words of encouragement and appreciation from you, the readers, far outweighed the number of complaints throughout my time with KPC Media Group. Most of the news sources I covered told me I was fair and accurate, which is the highest compliment for a journalist.
I am fortunate to have worked for newspaper owners who valued quality very highly.
You may not realize how fortunate this area has been to have three local newspapers published six days a week. It has become rare for communities of our size and even much larger.
They’re too small to say it themselves, but KPC owners, the late George O. Witwer and his family, often gave up higher profits to pay for better newspapers. They did it because they live in our community and wanted to be proud of the product.
In saying thank you to the owners and readers of this newspaper, I want to encourage you to support good journalism in the future. You can get your news for free on social media, but often its value matches the price – nothing.
As you reflect on the importance of journalism, look around the world and notice that dictators know how vital it is to a free society – otherwise they wouldn’t spend so much energy eradicating it.
Journalism ignited the spark that became America, and the nation’s founders believed in its value, protecting it alongside religion in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
If we are to remain free, we will need future journalists like our nephew – trained professionals who are dedicated to reporting the truth, even when it is unpopular.
Readers and viewers also have a responsibility to find reliable sources and support them financially if necessary.
With this advice, I bid farewell to my loyal readers. I retired from full-time reporting last summer, and since then have gradually settled down to writing this column and a few articles a week.
Now that Betsy has retired too, it’s time for me to catch up on all those nights she spent at home while I covered the news.
I’ve been telling your stories since I was a KPC summer intern in 1970. Thank you for sharing them with me. I leave with good memories and the certainty that my career has been full.
DAVID KURTZ is a retired editor and contributing writer for KPC Media Group.