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On Tuesday I wrote a draft of my talk at ISOJ a week from tomorrow. The piece begins with a cartoon by Doug Marlette. I was told by a vehement reader that I didn’t understand the cartoon, Marlette wasn’t criticizing bloggers, he said, he was mocking the people (journalists) who criticize them. I thought this was a ridiculous stretch, even though it doesn’t weaken my point. But I don’t want to call him out on it if he was being blogger-friendly. Marlette was from North Carolina, and luckily I have a friend, John Robinson, former editor of the Greensboro News & Record, who now teaches journalism at UNC, and I guessed he would have known Marlette. He asked me to say this is just his opinion, he never discussed it with Marlette, who died in 2007 (or else I would have asked him). Robinson said: “I knew Doug. He was a feisty SOB; a perfect trait for a cartoonist. I didn’t see the cartoon the way the reader did. I think Marlette was criticizing the blogger. It was 2004; newspapers were still strong (we thought). Blogging was still new to journalists. (It’s the year I started blogging as an editor and I got all kinds of skepticism from other journalists.) He was feisty as a journalist. As a person, he was as gracious and generous as could be.”
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