By Don Kirkland
For any who’ve followed my ramblings about the olden days of newspapering, you surely may wonder if we still
use hot-lead type and Linotype machines to put our pages together. We don’t.
That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m fully out of the woods compared with some of the young graduates who come to
us from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication and other equally reputable college pursuits. I mean, these people are good.
Yeah, when they pull out their cellphones to take a photo, I’ve been known to regale them with stories about the
camera I used in the late 1950s—one of those huge, boxy things, just like in the movies you’ve seen of guys with PRESS cards stuck in their hatbands.
(And, yes, I really did chase Lana Turner and daughter Cheryl Crane across the tarmac at Lockheed Burbank Airport one summer night as they ran from Johnny Stompanato, a sometimes enforcer for the notorious gangster Mickey Cohen. I got photos of that flashbulb-illuminated encounter just in the nick of time: Johnny was stabbed to death shortly thereafter, and the Turner-Crane-Stompanato odyssey reached an inglorious finale).
These, along with other similarly fascinating bits of the odd and offbeat, are among the memorable highlights
of those olden days of newspapering mentioned above.
But I digress. The new crop of young people we see today bears little resemblance to us media swashbucklers of the 1950s and ‘60s, but rather who view the future of mass communication through the lens of technology and creative innovation.
Which brings me to some of the explorative sidetrips we’ve been taking lately into the realm of the online delivery
of stories and film via Facebook and You Tube, also accessible on our Wrangler News website.
Behind these innovative ventures into our electronic outreach are some of the young people I mentioned earlier: Kody Acevedo, Chelsea Flood, Yusef Sabri, Billy Hardiman and Alex J. Walker. While I’m sure I thought of my early days as the primetime of breaking-news journalism, what this new crop of
explorers is embarking on has the potential for much more lasting relevance.
And with them at the reins of that process, we’re delighted to have ventured into some exciting new territory.
So watch for the imprint of these young people as our little hometown paper steers—or possibly selfnavigates, considering the state of an increasingly driverless society—toward some fresh and no doubt wonderous destinations.
In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us on Facebook, You Tube and other jaunts across the vast parking lot of new technology—no flashbulbs or Johnny Stompanatos to slow us down.