This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 28, 2022. My various readings and searches during the last few weeks have included a number of items about the concept of the “Sabbath.” The idea of the Sabbath, whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual, or “none of the above” • Read More »
The mean streets of Baltimore, the theology of work, June giveaways, and truckin’ bees: newsletter, June 10, 2022June 10, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, journalists, newsletter, writers, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,241) on Friday, June 10, 2022. What if Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare? Seriously, what if there was evidence that William Shakespeare was not the author of Hamlet or MacBeth or Richard III or Henry V or any of the other plays that we attribute to • Read More »
One of my areas of continuing interest is the artwork produced in and around the theaters of war. This art has not only special characteristics but also special meaning. The people who produce it are journalists just as much as the reporters, photographers, and television camera carriers, and producers who report on battles that they • Read More »
By 1963, Norman Rockwell had been associated with the Saturday Evening Post for nearly five decades, had created icons for the American public, and had himself become something of an icon. As an illustrator, the title he gave himself, he had reflected in his art how many Americans envisioned themselves. The problem was that it • Read More »
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,232) on Friday, January 7, 2022. Happy New Year. With regard to Covid, it seems that as we turn the calendar to this new year, we are little better off than a year ago. Covid cases are surging, and our faith in the vaccines to • Read More »
Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning, news art, and the ‘superbowl’ of 1941: newsletter, December 17, 2021December 17, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalists, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, December 17, 2021. The recent flutter of publicity about the fact that trial defendant Ghislaine Maxwell sketched the artist who was sketching her in court (see this New York Magazine article if you want to know more about that) reminded me about • Read More »
When Elizabeth Cochran was 16 years old, she lived with her family in Pittsburgh. The year was 1880, and Elizabeth was intelligent and precocious. The Pittsburgh Dispatch ran an article titled “What Girls are Good For,” and the author concluded the girls were good for having babies and keeping house. It was not an unpopular • Read More »
Spy novels with a dash of humor and irony, an advocate of racial equality in the 19th century, and the results of denying readers: newsletter, March 12, 2021March 14, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalists, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,392) on Friday, March 12, 2021. One of the writing roles that I have never pictured myself fulfilling is that of a memoirist. Tell other people’s stories, I would say to my journalism students, not your own. Your job is to write about other people, not yourself. I • Read More »
Maxine Cheshire was a reporter who knew how to get under people’s skin. She irritated Frank Sinatra into a drunken, expletive-ridden rant that was witnessed by dozens of people. She made Jacqueline Kennedy cry and provoked a presidential call to her publisher. She exposed the Nixon family’s greed in keeping gifts from foreign leaders. More • Read More »
Gordon Parks bought his first camera in 1938 when he was 25 years old and living in Seattle, Washington. Up to that time, Parks did not have much of a life. Born in Kansas in 1912, Parks was one of 15 children and experienced the cruelties of racism when some white kids pitched him into • Read More »
Theodore Weld, his wife Angelina Grimké, and her sister Sarah Grimké were tired of the spin — although they didn’t use that term back in 1838. They were tired of people saying that black was white, up was down, and night was day. And they were tired of people believing the spin because that’s what • Read More »
Malcolm Gladwell (The Outliers, The Tipping Point, David and Goliath) is an author who has achieved fame — and a good bit of success — by examining parts of society that don’t often get attention or by casting a new light on things we thought were familiar. He’s just published a new book titled Talking to • Read More »
Bob Considine, who achieved international fame for his World War II reporting was the consummate journalist: he loved traveling, he loved talking to people, he loved finding information, and — most of all — he loved writing. In his late 60s, he was still working and still writing — mostly on a nationally syndicated column • Read More »
America’s first female police officer, Dan Jenkins, lots of emails, and a modest proposal: newsletter, March 22, 2019March 25, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, journalists, sports, writers, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,866) on Friday, March 22, 2019. The tractor came out of the barn and had a pretty good workout this week. We had a string of dry days that allowed me — finally! — to get into the garden with some much-needed sub-soiling and • Read More »
What has practically every story you’ve read or heard during the last couple of weeks about the college admissions scandal had in common? The journalists and commentators have consistently used the terms elite colleges or elite universities. They have done without any critical assessment of the terms themselves, and therein lies a problem — possibly The Problem. We • Read More »
Back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, if you had a sacred cow — particularly if it had to do with sports or anything connected — Dan Jenkins would come along and push it over. And make you laugh while he was doing it. Jenkins was one of an elite group of sportswriters who worked • Read More »
When it comes to paying a lasting tribute to veterans, few people can match the work of Josephine Herrick. Herrick was a professional photographer in the 1930s and 40s with a successful studio in New York City when the United States went to war in 1941. She organized a group of 35 fellow-photographers to take • Read More »
Before he became famous for his wild tales of the then New West, Bret Harte was a journalist and had broken one of the biggest stories of the era in pre-Civil War California. Born in 1836 in Albany, New York, Harte moved to California with his family when he was a teenager. He worked at • Read More »
After a scathing two-part documentary by Public Broadcasting Service’s Frontline in October (The Facebook Dilemma, discussed in a JPROF.com post a couple of weeks ago), Facebook’s reputation as an idealist company that wants to change the world and do go continues to deteriorate. Here’s the lead paragraph from a New York Times story (Facebook Used • Read More »
Caricature is fairly common today (even amateurs like me try their hand at it), but in the late 18th century, it was a newly developing form of art, as well as social and political communication. And no one was better at it — a set a higher standard for others of his and those who • Read More »