The Work of a Journalist

The New York Times Building at night
Photo Credit: Jonathan Bell

Time and time again, I will browse through my previous posts keeping an eye out for typos, broken links, and inefficient tagging. As I continue to check statistics on this blog, I realize image search engines are the source of many clicks. Naturally desiring more views, I’m slowly adding images to my many past picture-less posts.

This morning, I was editing my post titled “Filling in the Blanks” and was searching for an appropriate image to accompany the words. Since I quoted Michael Jordan on his success, I thought an emotional display of him with his first championship trophy would do the trick, but I didn’t want to just copy and paste a picture from someone else’s blog when there was a photographer who was responsible for snapping that shot back in 1991.

I figured I’d be able to find an article from 1991 announcing the Chicago Bulls first NBA Championship with an image giving credit to the photographer on the Internet. NYTimes.com has all the Michael Jordan news under “Times Topics.” You can search for keywords from all the articles about him–so I typed in “championship.” I selected “Oldest First” to organize the search results.

I didn’t find the image I wanted on NYTimes.com, but after a few Google searches I stumbled upon it with the photo credit properly given and used it in the aforementioned post.

Nevertheless, I did indeed find the words of the article I was looking for–you know, that one that was published before I was born:

INGLEWOOD, Calif.— FLYING back to Chicago this afternoon, one could reasonably expect to look out the window of the airplane and see Michael Jordan flying right alongside, smiling and waving in his basketball suit. After all, we’ve recently seen Jordan flying in other places, like Chicago Stadium and the Forum here, so why not in the clouds, too?

What a picture columnist Ira Berkow’s lead paints! Mr. Berkow, Sir, I have no words. I obviously have a long way to go.

I want you to think about this year for a second: 1851. That’s the year Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was first published and the year Northwestern University was founded.

It was also the year The New York Times was founded. Articles like this printed in The New York Times in 1851 are scanned and posted as PDFs for everyone to see. As in right now, you can read a casual article that the people who walked this American soil over a century ago read fresh off the press. EIGHTEEN FIFTY-ONE, PEOPLE. Wow. To think a journalist’s work from 1851 is available, searchable, and readable for the world in 2012–that’s pretty dang cool.

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