Monday I told my friend Greg, a Dodgers fan, that you can sometimes catch Vin Scully announcing a game on the MLB Network. Last night I went to the channel and heard the familiar, reassuring, upliftingly businesslike voice doing the Dodgers-Braves game.
In the middle of the second inning, everyone was told to direct their attention to the scoreboard in left field for breaking news. I braced myself for a proclamation of war. Instead, we all watched an amusing, trilingual announcement that Vin Scully would be returning as announcer in 2015. The stadium rose as one, applauding and cheering. Vin Scully stood in his announcer's box, acknowledging the ovation and getting a kiss from his wife. Then, after saying something to the effect that it was a little hard to get back to work after that, he got back to work.
The piece by Anjan Sundaram in yesterday's New York Times, "We're Missing the Story," began: "The Western news media is in crisis and is turning its back on the world."
That was a lead that was destined to pull in few people as forcefully as it pulled in me, the author of an unpublished book about a year in the life of a dying newspaper as told by a travel editor. I continued to read the piece, nodding in agreement and thinking I'd found a fellow victim of American parochialism. Halfway through I glanced up and read that Sundaram is "the author of Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo." The publishing industry is not the news media, but the author's tagline did seem slightly at odds with the author's argument.