Welcome to ‘News Inscriptions’


In 1916, University of Michigan rhetorician Fred Newton Scott was asked to write the inscriptions on the parapet of The Detroit News building being designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn. “Mirror of the public mind … Interpreter of the public intent … Troublers of the public conscience…” are among his words.

Some 96 years later, journalists still labor behind those News inscriptions, rapidly trying to reinvent newspaper journalism for a city, state and industry.

This blog is about those efforts and the related risks, not only in Detroit, but around the country.



  1. Dave W. · · Reply

    Great idea for a blog Gary. I’ll look forward to it as you continue to develop it.

  2. smkpuck · · Reply

    More than 32 years?! OMG! That makes me … well, we won’t go there. Glad to see you, and the News, writing this blog, Gary. I’ll read it daily. But what took you so long? I can remember urging my friend Gerry Green to get his column online back in the ’90s because he audience was national, but not Detroit or even Michigan. Same with another long-time friend, Lynn Henning. I spent a decade in Michigan, but I’ve lived most of my life outside the state. I’m as big a Red Wings and Tigers fan as anyone in state. The Detroit News travels farther and meets a larger audience online, not in print. Yes, the challenge remains monetizing the news and information you pay staff to provide. But it’s basic to journalism: Who is your audience and where are they? The Huffington Post and the Daily Beast never had to worry about geography when they got started. You need to free the Detroit News, too. This blog is yet another step for the News “during a digital transformation.”

  3. smkpuck · · Reply

    One big problem with journalism today, of course, is the lack of copy editors! Geez I hate making typos:
    — Jerry Green
    — because his audience was national, not just limited to Detroit or even Michigan (Jerry wrote for The Sporting News, a national publication, for many years).

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