December 21, 2011

Remembering Journalists We Lost

By Sharon Shahid, online managing editor

As 2011 comes to an end, the Newseum recognizes notable men and women who passed away this year whose contributions to journalism will not be forgotten.

Many of them are featured in Newseum galleries and exhibits and are honored separately from the journalists who were killed around the world trying to report the news. For a list of those names, please visit the Journalists Memorial.

David Broder

David Broder (1929-2011)
(Photo Courtesy Sam Kittner)
David Broder was called the "dean of the Washington press corps," "a reporter's reporter," and "the best political correspondent in America." The Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist pioneered in the full-time coverage of the political process and covered every presidential convention since 1956. In 1968, when reporters asked Richard Nixon if anyone had predicted Spiro Agnew as his running mate, Nixon answered, "Well, yes. Dave Broder did."

Norman Corwin

Norman Corwin (1910-2011)
(Photo: Carl Nesensohn/Courtesy The Associated Press)
CBS Radio writer Norman Corwin, often called the "poet laureate of radio," used drama and poetry in 1938 to bring historic events to listeners. His World War II commentaries — "Take a bow, GI, take a bow, little guy" — helped define radio as the medium of the war. "[Radio] makes a collaborator of the listener ... the ear, after all, is the poet of the senses," he said.

Sidney Harman

Sidney Harman (1918-2011)
(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Courtesy The Associated Press)
Philanthropist Sidney Harman was the creator of the first stereo hi-fi receiver and the savior of Newsweek magazine. In 2010, with no publishing experience, he surprised the media industry when he bought the struggling magazine from the Washington Post Company for a reported $1 and merged it with The Daily Beast website. "I'm in this to have a hell of a good time," he said. "I'm not in this to make money."

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
(Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters)
No topic was too big, small, mundane or controversial for Vanity Fair essayist Christopher Hitchens. The prolific, sharp-witted contrarian once produced a 1,000-word column in half an hour without missing a deadline. The British-born, self-professed atheist was unafraid to challenge people or subjects considered sacred or held in high regard. "It matters not what you think, but how you think," he said.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
(Photo Courtesy Apple Inc.)
Steve Jobs was a 21-year-old college dropout when he co-founded Apple Computer in his parents' garage. In 1977, the Apple II series of home computers was introduced; in 1984, the Macintosh. The 21st century marked the invention of the iPhone and iPad, which revolutionized the way news consumers received their news. "You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever," he said at a 2005 commencement. "This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Brian Lanker

Brian Lanker (1947-2011)
(Photo Courtesy Brian Lanker)
In 1972, Brian Lanker was a young photographer at the Topeka Capital-Journal intrigued by the Lamaze method of childbirth. He spent six months seeking a Kansas couple willing to be photographed and was in the delivery room when their baby girl took her first breath. The photo, "Moment of Life," received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Lanker said he needed a kind of "sixth sense" to stay focused. 

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Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe (1920-2011)
(Photo: Andrew J. Cohoon/Courtesy The Associated Press)
From 1975 to 1984, Bill Monroe was moderator of "Meet the Press," one of the longest-running programs in U.S. broadcasting history. He succeeded the show's co-creator Lawrence Spivak and was considered a "forceful but fair" host. Monroe thought the Federal Communication Commission's regulation of broadcasting was an affront to the free speech and free press guaranteed by the First Amendment. "The whole regulation system is a monster that has done the public much more harm than good," he said.

Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney (1919-2011)
(Photo: Jim Cooper/Courtesy The Associated Press)
For 33 years, Andy Rooney was the popular pundit for CBS's "60 Minutes," commenting on everything from umbrellas to newspapers and crowded elevators. He signed off Oct. 2, 2011, after delivering his 1,097th essay. Rooney said the key to his success was tackling subjects people took for granted. "We're so busy analyzing the obscure, we haven't realized that we really haven't mastered the commonplace," he said. 

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Hubert Schlafly Jr.

Hubert Schlafly Jr. (1919-2011)
(Photo: Paul Desmarais/Courtesy The Stamford Advocate)
The first time Hubert Schlafly Jr. gave a speech using a teleprompter was in 2008, more than 60 years after the device he helped create revolutionized TV news and politics. The teleprompter, an invention Schlafly called "a piece of cake," was first used on a CBS soap opera to help the actors with their lines. When 20th Century Fox failed to invest in the device, Schlafly and his co-inventors launched the TelePrompTer Corp., which later became one of the first cable television networks.

David Broder

Tom Wicker (1926-2011)
(Photo: George Tames/The New York Times/Courtesy The Associated Press)
Tom Wicker's detailed coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination made him a rising star at The New York Times. Less than a year later, he was the newspaper's Washington bureau chief and writer of the influential "In the Nation" column. Wicker, one of several southern journalists at the Times, made no secret of his passionate liberalism. He said the biggest weakness of the press was its reliance on and acceptance of official sources. "It's hard to get the other side," he said.

Samuel F. Yette

Samuel F. Yette (1929-2011)
(Photo Courtesy The Associated Press)
The grandson of a slave, Samuel F. Yette was among the first black journalists working in the mainstream press. He was the first black Washington correspondent for Newsweek. The magazine fired him after the publication of his controversial book on black survival in America. Yette credited photographer Gordon Parks with teaching him the power of photography and journalism. "I began to appreciate the importance of photography as a powerful and sometimes indispensable tool in modern storytelling," he said.

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