'The best damn job in the whole world'

Dateline: Mon 06 Apr 2009

Thanks to readers who sent the link to Roger Ebert's wonderful piece, "The Best Damn Job in the Whole World," lamenting and celebrating what it was like to work for a newspaper. It was published in the Chicagoo Sun-Times Friday.

Here is the lead graph, as a taste:

"One of my editors at the Sun-Times once asked me, 'Roger, is it true that they used to let reporters smoke at their desks?' This wasn't asked yesterday; it must have been ten years ago. I realized then, although I'm only writing about it now, that a lifestyle had disappeared. When I entered the business in the autumn of my 16th year, newspapering seemed the most romantic and exciting thing I could possibly do with my life. 'But honey," my mom said, 'they don't pay them anything.' Who cared? It involved knowing what was going on before anyone else did, and putting my byline on top of a story telling it to the world. 'Roger Ebert' is only a name. 'By Roger Ebert' are the three most magical words in the language, drawing my eye the same way a bulls-eye attracts an arrow."

Here is the link:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/04/the_best_job_in_the_world.html

and a promise. This blog welcomes such memories as Roger has shared from former members of the working press. Send them to ruth@ruthholladay.com I'll put some of my thoughts together, too, later today or tomorrow; you do the same. It's therapeutic. Cathartic.

It will also be a lot of damn fun.

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