Category History

Should news values change with the times?

Vigorous, but not vicious. Interesting, but not sensational. Fearless, but fair. They were core values for The Detroit News — in 1916. Are they appropriate standards for the 21st century? I recently came across a style book, dated the year before The News moved into its present building, that gave a detailed explanation of the […]

Why journalists should celebrate New Orleans

Last week’s news that the New Orleans Times-Picayune would reduce print publication to three days a week and reorganize as a digital-first media company was met with hand-wringing, blame and much time spent discussing what we’re losing. Yes, of course. Who isn’t lamenting that it’s come to this? In the meantime, there’s been too little celebration. Why celebrate? […]

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 […]