Letters

SCM Spring2011That redesigned online mag

I think it's wonderful that Santa Clara Magazine is online—I spend so much time on my computer, and with my iPhone I can now get this magazine everywhere I go. Not only is it convenient but so "eco-friendly," saving a few trees in the process as well as $$ for postage.

Marlene Baca '78
Pleasanton
Sent from Marlene's iPhone

 

I very much enjoyed the online magazine's makeover, but even more notable were the excellent article on the University's strategic vision and Jeff Brazil's '85's article on journalism in our digital age. Overall the magazine presents itself and Santa Clara as very much "with it" in this 21st century.

Ray O'Neil '53
Tucson, Ariz.


The future of journalism

Jeff Brazil's article is worthy of another Pulitzer! Thanks for including this article in the magazine.

Edward Alvarez '60, J.D. '65
Templeton, Calif.

 

As a news junkie, I have watched and (mostly) listened with great interest as ProPublica, Youth Radio, and other privately funded organizations have begun to step in where our [traditional] print media professionals have left off. While I applaud our society's concern and interest in funding journalism as a "charity," I do remain concerned as to whether a news business can really survive in print form. Perhaps it doesn't need to.

Jeff Brazil's well-written article was an excellent overview of the state of journalism. I appreciate Santa Clara Magazine for publishing it. Perhaps you can "Share Our Story"—I would love to see it picked up in a national publication!

Amy Evans MBA '89
Roseville, Calif.

 

The article "Can Newspapers and Journalism Survive the Digital Age?" was excellent. I think a follow-up article would be appropriate noting:

1. Broadcast (TV) journalism is an oxymoron. The reason TV news is now part of the entertainment division of networks is that there is no journalism, only some entertainment couched as news.

2. While newspapers are probably dying, because people do not have the time or intelligence or desire for knowledge to read a newspaper (as opposed to a blog or Internet headline), magazines do not seem to be affected as much. While magazines are deteriorating, e.g., not even Scientific American can follow good grammar rules (note Santa Clara Magazine still does), the rate of decline seems less. Magazines still seem to follow journalistic principles. A comparison of newspaper and magazine journalism survival possibilities would be useful.

3. The ability to think is related to the ability to read. Not just to read words, but to read (comprehend and retain) lengthy articles. There should be some study results to show that the journalism practiced for newspapers and magazines results in the readers' understanding and remembering more, as well as being able to use the knowledge (think), as compared with the results of those that read the "news" reported using digital media. Success (happiness, financial, influence, etc.) is strongly correlated to the ability to read books, newspapers, and magazines, but not to digital media. There may be some utility to reading a book on a Kindle, etc., although those media slow one's reading speed, which causes a loss of comprehension and retention.

4. The economic question is whether the fraction of the population that is sufficiently knowledgeable and motivated to read (for success) is large enough to sustain the production of useful reading materials, i.e., books, magazines, newspapers. The issue is not that newspapers are infinitely better in reporting and analyzing news than the digital media; the real question is whether there is a large enough economic base to maintain the existing structure or model. Is USA Today a more viable journalistic option than local newspapers, because of the economics, not the intrinsic worth?

David Sweetman MBA '85
Dyer, Nev.

David Sweetman notes that his house in "downtown" Dyer "is the same location where we have extensive renewable energy residential generation for SCU students to visit, at least for a rural application."—Ed.

 

The article on "Newspapers and Journalism" gave a concerned insider's perspective. As an interested outsider I ask: What happened to the objective reporting of who, what, why, where, when, and how? It seems that a vast majority of today's journalists are concerned with advocacy. It's tough to do, but try to report without an agenda—concerned and interested readers will respond.

Ernie Giachetti '63
San Jose

 

I found it fascinating that Jeff Brazil could write a 10-page article on the disruptions faced by newspapers in the digital age and avoid any reference to the Wall Street Journal. As Mr. Brazil surely knows, the WSJ has a larger [weekday print] circulation than the New York Times and Los Angeles Times combined, continues to grow circulation, and features Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporting. Apparently the WSJ's mortal sin is a conservative/libertarian slant in the editorials; or perhaps that they turn a profit (gasp!).

I suspect that one of the key reasons that the WSJ continues to flourish in the Internet era—with the only successful online model—is that editorials are confined to the opinion section and online blogs. This is why I subscribe, and if Rupert Murdoch alters this "separation of church-and-state" policy, I will quickly become a former subscriber.

I previously subscribed to our local paper, but grew weary of obviously slanted coverage—both within the articles as well as placement choices. My dropping the San Jose Mercury News was not due to Craigslist, but with consistently finding opinion buried throughout the paper in places where I was looking for information. Just like this piece by Mr. Brazil.

Chris Bennett '80
Cupertino


No Name!

The profile of Mike "No Name" Nelson '96 by Sam Scott '96 in the Spring SCM brought in these comments from the Santa Clara Mag Blog:

I remember listening to No Name on KSCU and have followed his radio show through the years! Definitely one of the Bay Area's entertainment gems. Like me, most people are extra proud when they find out he is a Santa Clara grad!!!

Peter Jackson

 

go noname!!! u have the tigers blood!!!

Chris


… And from Facebook, here's a selection of comments from No Name's fans:

No Name is such a sweetheart. : )

Lisa Marie Wong

 

Very Cool Sir!!!

James Patrick Regan

 

Ok, I do love it that Alpha Phi Star Search got name mention ... Kind of hilarious that was your "debut." Ha ha ha.

Gia Whitchurch Gaffaney

 

funny, not normal, Hahah AHAHAh AHAHAHA!!! Who is?!?

Sticker Dan

 

This is a great article! =)

Jenny O'Toole


Fr. Bannan and the Donohoe Alumni House

I greatly enjoyed the article regarding the time capsule buried behind the Donohoe building. As Fr. Lou Bannan's grandniece, I am always thrilled to see his picture and remember his impact on the Alumni Association, as well as on the University as a whole. I am reminded of my freshman year, when I was strategically housed a few rooms away from Fr. Bannan on the 11th floor of Swig Hall, a common placement of Bannan women thanks to our "spirited" nature. I was also very touched that the Alumni Association chose to include a quote from Fr. Lou on the plaque above the time capsule. Those words completely envelop who he was as a priest, mentor, and great-uncle. Thank you.

Bridget Branson Albert '95
Reno, Nev.


For the record: Bedtime story redux

I read with interest [in the Spring 2011 Letters section] Matt O'Brien's recounting of the events leading up to the 1970 bed-stacking photograph and his claim that "no resident assistants ... [were] in sight" and "no authority figure ever arrived." What he meant to say was that "no resident assistant tried to stop them."

As the then-resident assistant at Walsh Hall, I not only witnessed the event, but I believe that some of the beds actually came from Walsh Hall. As they were putting it together, several of the participants asked if I was going to do anything to stop them, to which I said that it had yet to get to my level of responsibility, in that I was in charge of the third floor of Walsh Hall. When it finally reached that height, I believe that I suggested that they tie ropes between the two buildings (which can be seen in the upper left corner of the photograph) to steady the beds.

By the way, I am enclosing a small contribution to the general scholarship fund to help prevent future engineering students from similarly going bad.

Thomas WM. Cain '70, J.D. '73
Judge of the Superior Court of San Jose


Winnie HookActually, she is more than a century young

A letter in the Spring edition chiding the magazine for using the phrase "104 years young" in a caption to describe Winnie Hook, the eldest member of the Catala Club, drew a response from a family member:

Our mother's spirit and heart certainly are young. She lives on her own, surrounded by family and friends. If you're ever in town, please go and visit with her. It's an experience.

Sharon Hook Gissler '70
Santa Clara




Memories of Fr. Coz

Below are a few memories of Fr. Coz. As a freshman, I was in his American Economic History Class on the 1st floor of Kenna Hall in the large classroom with riser chairs on three sides. Fr. Coz, wearing his sandals, peppered this dusty history with enthusiasm and humor.

After college I sent him a gift pack of fish. He wrote a thank you, saying that this reminded him of his days in Port Townsend, where he spent some time, I believe, at a Jesuit novitiate.

At a class reunion there was a social hour in one of the large rooms off the Benson cafeteria. Walking into the room with a little trepidation I recognized him with his smile, and it set the tone for our class dinner.

Two other stories are from two of Fr. Coz's Christmas letters. One, that with his priestly duties he figured if his Christmas cards were sent by Easter he was doing well. Second, while teaching in Phoenix, he had just finished a talk on a religious subject and then asked the 9th-grade boys if they had any questions. Silence for quite some time. Then, one of the boys asked if he was wearing a new pair of shoes.

Dick Isaacson '72
Aberdeen, Wash.


The cost of higher ed

My classmate R. L. Nailen's letter about the old days at SCU did not include a very important issue: cost. The GI Bill paid $500 a year for tuition and books for my great education. That is more like $40,000 today, about an 8,000 percent increase. Meanwhile, starting salaries for chemists like me have gone from $4,000 to $40,000—an increase of about 1,000 percent. The 61 years since then have shown me that I got an excellent education for a low price in less than perfect facilities. But Dr. Deck taught me how to be a chemist and Fr. Fagothey taught me how to live. Few universities have teachers like them. Besides, we won the Orange Bowl.

J. B. Mooney '50
Hudson, Fla.


What you're not saying

Recent pieces in this magazine have discussed the giving, or lack thereof of graduates. I personally am not inspired to give to the University because I am no longer sure Santa Clara promotes what I feel are true Catholic values. In the 20 or so years I have read this magazine, I don't recall any mention of anyone fighting against abortion or for the sanctity of life. Almost every issue highlights someone fighting for an environmental cause. I am also interested in the environment, but to me the pro-life movement is one of the bedrocks of Catholic social doctrine, so it seems strange that it is never mentioned.

Kathleen Nino Gastello '88
Hollister, Calif.


Newspapers and journalism—one more thing

When the Spring SCM went to press, it was with one glaring omission: the last paragraph of the article by Jeff Brazil '85, "Can newspapers and journalism survive in the digital age? Does it matter?" As originally edited—and in the online edition—Brazil's essay concludes with a haunting and unsettling observation, underscoring both the nonpartisan nature and the urgency of situation. Plus, it has the verb slither in it. Here's that missing paragraph:

"I don't have much hope of government aiding in the preservation of journalism," says Professor Howard Gardner from Harvard. "Indeed, large segments of the government, on the left as well as the right, would just as soon that newspapers and journalism slither away, so that they could do brainwashing without the free exchange of ideas and uncensored news which is the hallmark of a free society."

Steven Boyd Saum

Summer 2011

See all articles from this issue

Features

Law at 100

A century of legal education at SCU.

What do investors really want?

A renowned behavioral finance expert reveals how our desires shape our actions when it comes to investing.

Mission Matters

Water, water everywhere

Ed Maurer has a well-earned reputation as an expert on sustainable water resources development.

State of the University

"Strategic agility" to do life-changing work.

Bronco Profile

Tree still stands tall

The nickname that Dennis Awtrey ’70 earned at SCU doesn't require much explanation.

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