Most popular articles from Nieman Reports
Growing up, I craved a more significant existence than seemed available in rural Kentucky. Climbing the ladder as a journalist, working far from home, I longed to cover “important” stories. In the mail arrived an article from The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, courtesy of my mother, who captured the premise in her letter: “People say the only time you’re guaranteed to get your name in the paper is when you’re born, when you marry, and when you die.” The Courier-Journal had chosen three individuals—nobody “special”—and had recounted, in depth, the powerful meaning of a birth, wedding, and death. “Birth, Marriage, Death” became the foundation for the remainder of my career. What gives news relevance is its effect on our perceptions of the world into which we bring children, commit to shared dreams, then pass our torch as we leave.