Bill Steigerwald’s Farewell

For those of us unfortunate enough to care about both liberty and journalism, Bill Steigerwald’s announcement today that he’s leaving the newspaper business was regrettable. In an email sent to friends and associates, he jokes about his next endeavors (he’s open to everything from freelance gigs to grass-cutting) but promises to resurface before he takes a job as a greeter at a big box store. He enclosed his final column for the Tribune-Review in the email and here are two short excerpts:

…As a reporter, I’ve tried my best to be accurate, fair and truthful. I’ve always been aware of the difference between news and opinion, between balance and bias, and between being a government watchdog and a government lapdog. And I have always known that every journalist and every editor I have ever worked with was helplessly subjective in their politics and in their definition of what news and bias were and were not.

Trust me, big-city daily newspapers don’t go out of their way to achieve ideological diversity. About 90 percent of my work mates over the years were either avowed liberal Democrats or didn’t know it. Reagan Republicans were virtually nonexistent. Until I got to the Trib, I was always the staff’s lonely libertarian.

…I’ve tried my best to make newspaper journalism more interesting, entertaining and politically balanced. I had my fun. I afflicted my enemies and comforted my friends. I have no regrets. Now it’s time to freelance, teach a journalism class and write some books, including my memoir, which has the working title “Confessions of a Subversive Newspaper Man.”

Thanks to everyone for reading my words. Especially you, Mom.

Thanks, Bill, for all the good work you’ve done. We’ll look for you on your next visit to the Bay Area.

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