Posted on January 16, 2008
Do you know who this is?
Alan Mutter at Newsosaur is nonplussed at a journalism student’s unfamiliarity with Mike Royko (1932 – 1997), the beloved Chicago newspaper columnist. As a teenager, I read Royko’s syndicated columns in the local rag that served as a newspaper in my hometown in Pennsylvania, and I confess, I loved them. Probably they had some influence on my positive feelings toward journalism.
But do I expect a 20-year-old (or a 25-year-old) today to know Royko’s work? To know his name? No. Why should she?
Let’s turn the tables and ask if the green-eyeshade types know these people’s work:
- Vannevar Bush
- Ted Nelson
- Alan Kay ( “Computer Software,” Scientific American, 1984)
- Vint Cerf
- Bob Metcalfe (Ethernet; “Metcalfe’s Law”)
- Tim Berners-Lee
- Ivan Sutherland (The Ultimate Display, 1965; Sketchpad [video], 1963)
I’m sure most 25-year-olds have never heard of any of these guys. But neither have most over-40 journalists.