Thursday, December 31, 2009

Richard Rodriguez on state of newspapers

In an article entitled "Final Edition: Twilight of the American Newspaper" (Harper's Magazine, November 2009), Richard Rodriguez writes about the diminishing presence of newspapers in our society. Rodriguez describes the relationship of newspaper and city, how they have created and defined one another, and what this might mean when newspapers die.

One point of Rodriguez' focus becomes the newspapers of his native city, San Francisco. He details the history of two - the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner - showing how they each were products of their time and proprietors. The cast of characters include the Chronicle's founders the de Young brothers, the Examiner's William Randolph Hearst, and the City's most famous columnist (and our department's namesake), Herb Caen.

If you are interested in the City and its journalistic milieu, this is an article to seek out.

Richard Rodriguez is the author of such books as Hunger of Memory, Days of Obligation and Brown: the last discovery of America and a frequent essayist on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

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