Tom Wolfe Movie Story 3
William McKeen’s a Facebook junkie, which reflects his curiosity for new storytelling methods and his ability to embrace change. He is now chair of the Department of Journalism at Boston University, read more about him here. In the chaotic journalism establishment today, these are valuable — if rare — qualities. McKeen’s focus on Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe as an academic meant his students would hear plenty about these two figures. And they are about as far as journalists evolved in the pre-internet era. (See McKeen photo below)
University of Florida circa 1996: the internet is about to kick down the information gates; cell phones will soon gravitate from the cars of physicians to pockets of, well, everyone. Faxes, the latest info toy, will soon find rest in Indian junk heaps. But these are observations made from hindsight. As a recent college grad, I just wanted to work as a journalist at a good newspaper, looming technological upheaval be damned!!! The written word, so simple and stark, seemed to aspire to the sacred when seen in newsprint.
Stints as an intern at the Chicago Tribune (where I got to write a cool story about Jack Kerouac, read here) and the Miami Herald led to a job as a crime reporter for Newsday in New York. This establishment, like most newspapers, trafficked in the suburban crime pathos. Fresh off the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco saga, Newsday relished every fatal car accident and fire, drably tagged LiFATA (short for Long Island Fatality) in their editing system. After the 700th or so LiFATA, I came back to Miami, slightly apprehensive, for some reason, about dying in a car accident…