Former OPC President Marshall Loeb marks his 80th birthday with a look at six decades of news coverage — and where he thinks journalism is going next. One of the most important stories, he writes, is the endless, radical change in journalism itself.
Sixty years ago this very day, I was taking my first trip to Europe,crossing the stormy Atlantic on a World War II troopship named theMarine Tiger, which had been converted to carry American collegestudents back and forth over the ocean to pursue volunteer projects inrebuilding the war-torn continent.
I went on to become a correspondent for an international wireservice and later a reporter for a big-city newspaper; a writer andeditor for a weekly newsmagazine; the editor of a personal-financemagazine; the editor of a business and policy magazine; and a writerand columnist for MarketWatch.
So now my editors have asked me to select the most important andinteresting stories that I have covered in these past six decades, andtell you something more about them.
Just by being there, I have helped to cover some of the most engrossingpersonalities of the era — U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy,Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Outside the United States, there have been such chiefs of state asSouth African President Nelson Mandela, Soviet President MikhailGorbachev, Saudi Arabian King Faisal, West German Chancellor WillyBrandt and Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, among quite a fewothers — all of them important if not necessarily praiseworthy.