Just in time for your Labor Day beach reading, here's an offer you can't refuse: Today and tomorrow on Amazon, you can get Howard Weaver's "Write Hard, Die Free" book FREE for your Kindle or Kindle app! Not only will it be well worth the price (har har), but it's a rollicking good read, full of colorful characters, vivid accounts of the "good old days" of newspaper journalism, and unflinching examinations of the times the good old days kind of sucked.
Who should read this? News nerds and newspaper folk, of course, but I'd also highly recommend this to my journalism students -- it's the kind of book to stoke that fire in your belly and get you in the right frame of mind for going out and afflicting the comfortable.
I think what I liked most about "Write Hard, Die Free" is that it doesn't smack of that particular kind of hubris too many old-school newspaper guys have, that is, the notion that "real" journalism as THEY knew it is dead and things will never be that good again.
Howard Weaver just isn't wired that way -- yeah, he won a couple of Pulitzers, led a newsroom in a fight-to-the-death finish with a competitor, and got into the whole online news thing back when other newspapers were still debating whether to run color photos on Page One. But the sense I get is that he did those things not just to preserve newspapering as it was, but to sustain journalism for the future.
And there are lessons in the book for today's journalists too -- what it's like to run a startup publication and why it's good to fail, why professional disappointment is as instructive and valuable as success, and what kind of car not to drive when you're doing surveillance.
So get on that -- download it free for Kindle today and tomorrow here.
Tell 'em Citizen Mom sent ya.