Thursday, August 18, 2005

Alligator Allegory ...

Click on the headline above to be linked to an L.A. Times story about the alligator that will not be caught, not because it's a story about an alligator in an urban landscape but because it's one of the best pieces of writing I've seen in a long, long time.

Andrew Malcolm, the author, is the father of my friend Chris. Chris and I suffered at the Chicago Tribune together, suffering the kind of suffering that forms life-long bonds. So when L.A. Dave read the story to me tonight on the phone and I asked him who wrote it and he told me, I immediately fired off a note to Chris to ask if his dad was writing for the L.A. Times these days.

Yup, it's him.

If you're not in the newspaper biz, you may or may not know that journalists are experiencing a bit of a crisis of conscience of late. Many writers are so disgruntled with the news business -- and it has indeed become a business, laden with all the ugly trappings that entails, like profit margins -- that they're loathe to recommend journalism as a profession to the smart, eager young minds this business so desperately needs.

Then along comes Andrew H. Malcolm, who has a storied newspaper career to his credit, who can tell an alligator tale like nobody's business.

Newspapers may be going the way of the dinosaurs, but great writing will never die.

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