Scott Hardie | July 22, 2001
If you pay attention to the news at all, you're probably well aware by now that Katharine Graham, longtime publisher of the Washington Post, died last week. If you're like me, you're also wondering why this matters.

Look, I know that she took over the paper when her father died, when it was on the verge of bankruptcy, and made it into a $2.4 billion international corporation. I know that she supported her editor and reporters when they were breaking Watergate and no other paper would touch it. I know that she has been one of the paramount figures of journalism in the past few decades, and a postfeminist icon to others.

But is her death really that big of a news story? I'd seen it on the front pages of news-related web sites. Fine, since they go through headlines like crazy. What little TV we get here, PBS, was covering it by re-running a 1997 Charlie Rose interview with her. Fine, Rose does stuff like that. But it didn't start to frustrate me until the new issue of Newsweek came out, with Katharine Graham on the cover. If this woman's death is the biggest news story of the week, how come I've never heard of her before?

I think the problem is that the industry is mourning one of its own, so to them, her death is a big deal, while common Americans are mystified. Every time a former editor or whatnot of Newsweek dies, they give half a page, sometimes a full page to them. Fine, she or he meant something to the journalists, but why is it NEWS? I wonder how many people out there have never heard of Katharine Graham, like me, and are wondering why in the hell she's suddenly on the cover of Newsweek. I want to get in the paper when I die, I'd better be a big-time journalist, I guess.

Kelly Hardie | July 23, 2001
I do think this is a thing about mourning one of their own. Of course. Its the same thing with books, i mean how many main characters in books just happen to be a writer? So of sourse this is going to be a huge thing. Just like when Charles Shultz died, all the comics had stuff had dedications or at least mentioned it.

Kelly Hardie | July 23, 2001
this all holds true except for the guy who did denise the menace. Nobody liked him. Not even Dairy Queen.

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