“The president didn’t send me over here to seek a graceful exit.” So said General David Petraeus in one of many interviews during a press blitz as the summer of 2010 moved toward fall. He was just weeks into running a war that is nearly nine years old, trying to make the case that the pieces necessary for success in Afghanistan, especially troop strength, are finally in place. And, implicitly, that the effort is worth the price. As we write, the latest to bear the cost was an Army sergeant from the 82nd Airborne Division, Christopher Karch, of Indianapolis, age twenty-three. He was number 1,215 among U.S. casualties, killed by small-arms fire when insurgents attacked his unit in the Arghandab Valley. The public will be more consciously trying to measure such sacrifice against the war’s progress in the coming year, and it is the duty of the press to help them. For some inspiration, perhaps, in what is our annual books issue, we take a look at books about wars past, starting with Connie Schultz’s salute to Michael Herr’s Vietnam classic, Dispatches. It is the book she turned to as a young woman in blue-collar Ohio, when she wondered why so many young men left her hometown “full of brag and bravado” but came home “spent and eerily old.”
05:16 PM - September 1, 2010
An introduction to our annual books issue
#Realtalk: This isn’t another ‘golden age’ for print - But it is one for media
Social media in smaller markets - How three social media managers deal with smaller markets and more local coverage.
A rally for laid-off Sun-Times photogs - A protest Thursday morning drew about 150 picketers to the newspaper’s headquarters
Reporting, or illegal hacking - Scripps reporters are accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Exchange Watch: California Dreaming - Low healthcare premiums on the West Coast were trumpeted as a big, good-news Obamacare story. But: “Compared to what?”
One of the great reporters of his generation died Tuesday at 33. The stories he wrote, and the ones he didn’t live to write
Hastings was fearless and shook things up - especially with his McChrystal expose. The haters in the media couldn’t forgive him
Journalism is about finding flaws and magnifying them, and surely someone who would spill massive loads of state secrets must contain a few broken parts, right?
The inside-the-beltway publication’s go-to phrase
“Michael was angry … he was angry about things that weren’t right in the world. He was angry with war and with loss, and that drove his reporting.”
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.