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Posts Tagged ‘Elaine Woo’

For E-book Pioneer, It All Started with Just Six Downloads

As you scroll through part of another literary masterpiece this weekend on your Kindle, iPad or Nook, take a moment to say thank you to the late Michael Stern Hart. His modest efforts as a 1971 freshman at the University of Illinois turned out to be the prologue for the now unstoppable e-book narrative.

Per today’s LA Times obituary by Elaine Woo, Hart was inspired to take a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence that he had been given in a grocery store and post it into the ARPANET grid. At the time, there were about 100 users on the network at places like UCLA, Harvard and the U.S. Defense Department:

Hart keyed the historic text into the computer system… It was downloaded by six members of this pre-Internet network, which was encouragement enough for Hart to continue.

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Remembering a Legendary High School Journalism Teacher

J.K. Yamamoto, a reporter with LA Japanese newspaper Rafu Shimpo, shares a long and wonderful obit for Ted Tajima, an 88-year-old retired journalism teacher who passed away last month.

Tajima made all sorts of epic contributions to the Southern California journalism landscape, but one of his most impressive feats while at Alhambra High School was guiding student newspaper The Moor to All-Amerian honors from the National Scholastic Press Association every single year from 1957 until his retirement in 1983. Recalls LA Times staff writer (and one-time Tajima protégé) Elaine Woo:

“It’s sad that he could not become a reporter or editor for a mainstream newspaper. He finished college right after World War II and anti-Japanese sentiment was a huge barrier. I never heard him express bitterness about this, although I’m sure he felt it.”

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Edwin O. Guthman, 89

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From Elaine Woo‘s obit today:

Edwin O. Guthman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and editor whose aggressive pursuit of Watergate stories during the 1970s earned him the enmity of President Nixon and the No. 3 spot on Nixon’s infamous enemies list, has died. He was 89.

(Snip)

Guthman, who was also a longtime USC professor and a founding member of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, earned a Pulitzer early in his career for proving the innocence of a victim of McCarthyism. During a brief hiatus from journalism, he worked for Robert F. Kennedy as a Justice Department spokesman and became a Kennedy confidant.

He went on to serve as national editor of the Los Angeles Times from 1965 to 1977, a crucial period during which the newspaper expanded its journalistic mission and shed its parochial image. David Halberstam, in “The Powers That Be,” wrote that Guthman gave the paper “instant prestige” and played an important role in its transformation under Publisher Otis Chandler.

A decorated World War II veteran, Guthman was profiled in the bestselling 1998 book “The Greatest Generation,” by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who wrote: “In any accounting of the good guys of American journalism, Ed Guthman is on the front page.”