I had this childish idea if I didn’t read the paper I wouldn’t find a story I knew was in it, and then the matter it reported on wouldn’t have happened.
And John Carroll would still be alive.
Childish, but that’s just how much I wished John were still here.
One of the finest journalists I’ve known..able, honest, ethical, and a great friend..even when, as a competitor he was beating your brains out..as John’s Herald-Leader did several times to me, when I was running the Channel 27 news department.
In’85 when the paper was reporting on the UK sports scandal (which many die hard fans refused to believe was true,) 27 took its lumps. We may have been the “official” UK station, but my sports reporters couldn’t seem to get ahead of the paper on this major story (which won them their first ever Pulitzer)..or even stay even. I finally resorted to having a staffer at the paper about 10:45pm, and when the first edition rolled off the press, buy one, scan it for UK developments, and if any, radio them to our newsroom where we would write them up and air them at 11..with credit to the Herald-Leader. Best we could do, but it still put us ahead of our tv competitors, thanks to John’s crew.
He won major prizes for the next 2 papers he edited, the Baltimore Sun and the L.A. Times..where, though he won many Pulitzer’s for the Times, his owners told him he had to cut back, especially on the reporting staff that had won those awards.
John refused. Stood up in the newsroom and told his staff why, and then resigned. That was John Carroll, a consummate newsman.
He came home to Lexington, spoke about our profession’s problems and became an “elder statesman" we all admired.
Now, with his sad death at an early age, people everywhere in general, and journalists in particular have lost an advocate…and we here in Kentucky have lost a dear friend.