Thank you to everyone who has made my work better, made my life richer and made my many years at the Post-Dispatch so much fun.
The PD newsroom we work in today bears scant resemblance to the newsroom where I worked as a high school student, writing bridal announcements for the society page.
There are no spittoons on the floor, no cigars, handguns or liquor bottles stuffed in desk drawers. No one sends the copy boy across the street for Manhattans at 10 a.m., or sleeps on top of his desk. Editors today are less (overtly) tyrannical than when I started, and not a single one wears a Homburg or a bow tie.
It's a frustrating and thrilling time to be a journalist. Frustrating because we are yoked to an obsolete business model; thrilling because creativity and innovation are the only way forward. By definition, the true enemy of change is the status quo. Mediocre ideas and faint hearts will not get us where we need to go.
Yet in some fundamental ways, the newsroom remains unchanged. It is still a beacon for dreamers and reformers, a stage for storytellers and voyeurs, and a playground for curious, passionate, irreverent people. What other business would tolerate our lot?
That thought makes me happy -- and hopeful.