The Fourth Estate

In 1970, I knew that my professional calling was journalism, and I was proud to enter the Henry Grady School of Journalism in the Fall of that year as a Freshman.

The school is now  known as the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The legacy of it’s namesakeHenry W. Gradyhas again become as controversial as he was during the latter Reconstruction period in the post–Civil War South, but for markedly different reasons. (Not bad for a fellow whose life spanned a mere 39 years.)

As for me, I moved to the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences because my enthrallment with History proved greater than my conviction that I was to be a Crusading Young Journalist. Still, the lessons I learned in Journalism classes proved their worth in my subsequent career—analyzing and reporting intelligence data as a Cryptologic Technician in the U.S. Naval Security Group. (I warn you: If you ask me about this, you will open the gate for a flood of Sea Stories.)

Journalism and journalists have always been praised and vilified simultaneously. I have defended journalists and journalism, even when I disagreed with conclusions presented by individuals. I have occasionally known some journalists—it is an honor to have met and often conversed with Aubrey Morris of WSB Radio. But I believe that the best discourse about our Fourth Estate was delivered by Scott Simon in his lecture at the Herb Block Foundation in 2018:

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