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Eric K. Williams

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Historical memory lost?
By Eric K. Williams   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, February 18, 2007
Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2007

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Is younger necessarily better? How does that affect the nation's newsrooms?

The Loss of Historical Perspective inside Local newsrooms

Reporters such as 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks, who was celebrated and feted with the Silurian Society’s 2006 Peter Kihss Award last Fall, should be more the rule and not the exception. Brooks, like several long-time local reporters, brings perspective and Historical memory to issues from the City’s last fiscal crisis of the mid-1970’s, previous ranting of presidents during foreign conflict to, the wider debate of past figures such as the late Robert Moses.

As Silurian News goes to print, a disturbing trend of the phasing out of such long time reporters is underway. One obvious the other, nearly invisible.

The recent cut-back on the days Gabe Pressman files stories for WNBC-TV, from five days to three, remains unclear. Still it is of note because of Gabe’s long-time standing on the local scene. He is an institution in local New York journalism.

The other journalistic institution is Myriam Ayala, who has worked at Spanish language WNJU-TV channel 41, for over 20 years. Long a voice on the Patterson, N.J.-based Univision-owned station, Ayala has been bounced around in recent months from a normal work day to working the ‘grave yard’ shift. That new shift includes working hours starting just after mid-night. As a result, Ayala’s stories no longer include hard news, insight into the various Latino news makers, or off-beat stories about those who make the metropolitan area unique. Most disturbing of all, Ayala’s stories are no-longer seen on the station’s primary evening news program at the dinner hour.

What’s next, is anyone’s guess. But, the treatment of darker skinned reporters at the various Spanish media outlets has gotten an airing recently on the Blog site, YOUR FREE PRESS.

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