Out of the News

Former Journalists Discuss a Profession in Crisis

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About the Book

This is a work of media history and media criticism with a human face. It presents profiles of 11 journalists who left some of the country’s biggest mainstream media outlets, and took on new career challenges. Their stories give the reader a vivid sense of what it means to be a reporter and to cover big news events. But this book goes beyond media memoir.
The book also explores the factors that led talented people to re-assess the profession they loved, and raises profound questions about the economic structure of news organizations and the culture of newsrooms, and their impact on the practice of journalism. By demonstrating that there is life after journalism, and that the skills the profession teaches remain valuable in other careers, this book also offers hope and direction to both aspiring and current journalists contemplating the future.

About the Author(s)

Celia Viggo Wexler, a former award-winning journalist, is a public interest lobbyist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. She serves on the membership committee of the National Press Club, and has been a freelance contributor to The Washington Post, The Nation, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Celia Viggo Wexler
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6989-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9271-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5

 1. Burned Out and Pissed Off 15

 2. Leaving Mount Olympus 27

 3. The Book of Simon 40

 4. Bullets and Balance 57

 5. Divine Intervention 70

 6. Globetrotter 84

 7. The Quiet “Race Man” 100

 8. Collateral Damage 114

 9. Lady Justice 129

10. From Times Man to Roadmonkey 138

11. The Path Not Taken 152

12. Thinking About Journalism 163

Chapter Notes 175

Bibliography 189

Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Sigma Delta Chi Award—The Society of Professional Journalists
“Celia Wexler has written a compelling narrative of these noted journalists that underscores and illuminates the challenging media environment. Their inspiring stories give hope to all of us who love journalism and realize its importance.”—Helen Fallon, Point Park University; “Wexler persuasively demonstrates why the crisis in journalism requires our attention. Through elegantly interlacing reporters’ first-person stories with public-policy implications, she provides a primer for those who care about sustaining our democracy.”—Danielle Brian, executive director, Project on Government Oversight; “Celia Wexler writes with great insight and empathy, and timeliness, into why many journalists are leaving the profession. The result is a book that captures key aspects of a profession in the midst of great change.”—Wes Pippert, Missouri School of Journalism.