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“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” and other words of wisdom from Bruce Brandfon, VP and Publisher of Scientific American

October 21, 2007

bb.jpgsa.jpg During a recent speech to The University of Mississippi journalism students, Bruce Brandfon, VP and Publisher of Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine (since 1845) in the United States, asked the question “Who is a journalist?” He answered his own question Who is a journalist by the following:

A journalist is someone who engages the intellectual and emotional lives of others, and has a profound effect on them.”

Mr. Brandfon gave several examples of whom he considers journalists: Matthew Brady’s Civil War Photography, David Halberstam on Vietnam, Woodward and Bernstein exposing Watergate, eyewitness accounts of 9/11, and Ko Htike’s blog on the Myanmar protests.” Other remarks he made:

“Outlets for journalism come in and out of fashion. Some media have staying power because they always look ahead, rather than clinging to passing trends. Unlike good journalism, which is timeless, some things disappear and we don’t miss them, because they’re replaced by something better…however, some things never go out of style:
Truth,
Conviction,
Ideas,
Creativity,
Intelligence,
Insight,
Courage,
Optimism,
and Passion for a great story.

The aforementioned journalist had them and “we like to think Scientific American has them too…”

Mr. Brandfon, we agree on all of the above, including the fact that Scientific American has all of the above and a little bit more…thanks for a great speech and the many words of wisdom that we all need. Your speech’s title said it all, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Yes indeed.

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