The Life of Kings: The Baltimore Sun and the Golden Age of the American Newspaper by Frederic B. Hill, W. Shepherdson Abell, Russell Baker, Sandy Banisky
In an age when local daily papers with formerly robust reporting are cutting sections and even closing their doors, the contributors to The Life of Kings celebrate the heyday of one such paper, the Baltimore Sun, when it set the agenda for Baltimore, was a force in Washington, and extended its reach around the globe. Contributors like David Simon, creator of HBO’s The Wire, and renowned political cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher (better known as KAL), tell what it was like to work in what may have been the last golden age of American newspapers when journalism still seemed like “the life of kings” that H.L. Mencken so cheerfully remembered. The writers in this volume recall the standards that made the Sun and other fine independent newspapers a bulwark of civic life for so long. Their contributions affirm that the core principles they followed are no less imperative for the new forms of journalism: a strong sense of the public interest in whose name they were acting, a reverence for accuracy, and an obligation to keep faith with the reader.
Stephens Broening was Associated Press correspondent in Paris, Moscow, and Lisbon from 1965 to 1976 before joining the Sun as assistant city editor in 1976. In 1978 he was named the paper's first Op-Ed page editor, a post he held until 1985 when he was assigned to the Sun's Washington bureau as diplomatic correspondent. In 1990, Broening joined the International Herald-Tribune in Paris as a news editor, responsible for the IHT’s coverage of the Americas and Asia. He returned to Baltimore in 1996 and for ten years was a visiting scholar in history at the Johns Hopkins University.
Frederic B. Hill was a reporter and foreign correspondent for the Sun, including tours as bureau chief in London and Paris, covering Europe and southern Africa, before becoming an editorial writer for the Evening Sun. He was foreign affairs director for Senator Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R., MD) in 1985 and 1986. He then established the State Department’s Office of Special Programs. The office conducted policy planning exercises (war games) and roundtable discussions on security, political, economic, and global issues for State and key national security agencies from 1986 to 2006. He is the author of Ships, Swindlers and Scalded Hogs, the rise and fall of a mid-nineteenth- century Maine shipyard.
Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Sellout at the Sun Joseph R. L. Sterne 2 Getting Started Russell Baker 3 Here’s to You, Mr. Dorsey! Muriel Dobbin 4 Time Travel Arnold R. Isaacs 5 More Fun than Getting Rich Ernest B. Furgurson 6 Learning from the Best Tony Barbieri 7 Foreign Assignment: Black Baltimore Antero Pietila 8 Cradle of Corruption Frederic B. Hill 9 The Ivory Tower Barry Rascovar 10 The Bay Tom Horton 11 You Better Be Right Steven M. Luxenberg 12 A Free Hand Abroad Gilbert A. Lewthwaite 13 The Op-Ed Page Stephens Broening 14 The Shadow Government C. Fraser Smith 15 The Conflict Robert Ruby 16 Nightcops David Simon 17 Covering the Gipper Robert Timberg 18 Mandela Saves the Day Jerelyn Eddings 19 Drawing Contempt: The Art of the Editorial Cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher 20 Just North of Pleasant Laura Lippman 21 Doubling Up in Moscow Kathy Lally 22 Balkan Road Trip Dan Fesperman 23 No Such Agency Scott Shane 24 Shipbreaking Will Englund 25 Tribune: The Rupture Sandy Banisky 26 A View from the Boardroom W. Shepherdson Abell 27 What Will Become of Newspapers? John S. Carroll Index About the Contributors