Well, after three years, I’m stepping down today as the editor of this here blog. Which means my picture gets removed from the bottom right-hand corner of the page. (Though I’m not gonna do it — let someone else take it down.) Starting Monday, regular readers of News Fix are going to be in the capable hands of Dan Brekke, a man who never met a fact he didn’t assimilate, question, and place into a larger news context. He has written some of our most compelling coverage over the years, and I, for one, am going to be reading as much of his stuff as I can, while also filling in for him on occasion.
I know everyone says when they leave an organization how great it’s been and how much they like and respect everyone who works there. Then they also say, “Everyone says that, but I really mean it.” So you’ll just have to take my word for it that I do really mean it.
My dirty little secret is that before I came to work here I didn’t listen much to KQED, but knew tons of people who couldn’t get enough of it. Now I listen all the time, and not because I work here (dude, I’m with these people all day). I listen because the programming is so compelling, the journalism is so unique, and the dedication to craft so complete. I know everyone’s cynical about the news media (especially people who work in the news media, by the way), but the people here, in radio, TV and online, really do kill themselves to be accurate, informative and engaging.
OK, let’s not turn this into an online pledge break. I should also say how demanding this job has been. I mean, you try covering the Ross Mirkarimi story day in, day out. Also, in the news biz these days, things really can get bat-guano crazy, and in fact routinely do. The news — it just don’t wanna stop. Sometimes, in fact, you feel like you’re in that “I Love Lucy” episode with the chocolates…
Only it’s not chocolates, it’s stuff that people need to know, and they need to know it accurately, objectively and in a timely manner, attributes that can frequently be at odds.
I’m old enough to remember, say, 1996, when most people still received their news from TV or their local newspaper. These days you’re competing with just, oh, the entire world. You gonna wait to learn about the NSA wiretapping thing, for instance, from the Chronicle, PBS NewsHour or KQED when the story breaks? No, you’re gonna read it direct from the Guardian after someone posts it on Facebook while you’re waiting in line to get coffee.
So we’ve done our best to find our niche among the infinitely fractured news audience, as well as learn all the latest tricks about coaxing Web users away from that mesmerizing cat video (while sneaking peeks ourselves). Don’t even ask how long it takes us to write a clickable headline around here … we’ve got that stuff down to a science — and by science, I mean water dousing.
So hopefully you’ve found at least some things useful on these pages over the last several years. More to come.
— Jon Brooks