February 22, 2013 (REVISED March 14, 2013) Final Volume in "The Washington Reporters" Series to Be Discussed

Covers Prominent D.C.-Based Journalists from 1978 to Present Day

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

In 1981, “The Washington Reporters” was published as the first entry in Stephen Hess’s Newswork series. Hess has now come full circle with the seventh and final Newswork title, in which he follows up on the reporters surveyed in 1978 for the original book. Journalism has changed a lot during the past 35 years, and Hess fully capitalizes on this opportunity to reveal a great deal about reporters, journalism and how we get our news in “Whatever Happened to the Washington Reporters, 1978-2012” (Brookings, 2012).

Hess will discuss and sign his work on Wednesday, March 20, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“Whatever Happened” is not a “Class of ’78” in the sense of a group entering college together. The respondents have an age spread of more than 50 years. But what they have in common is that at a certain moment in time they all were based in Washington, working for U.S. commercial news organizations, covering national government. Hess and his team tracked down 90 percent of the original group, interviewing 283 and otherwise relying on obituaries. The group includes a number of eminent journalists such as Ted Koppel, Brit Hume, Marvin Kalb and Judy Woodruff. Others would leave Washington to become the editors of such prestigious newspapers as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

The book is designed as a series of discrete, self-contained essays, each concentrating on a certain characteristic, such as age, gender, race or place of employment. In addition to being lively and fascinating in their own right, the updated profiles provide unique insights into the career patterns of professional journalists.

Stephen Hess is a senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and formerly distinguished research professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. He was a young speechwriter in the Eisenhower White House and returned to the White House to work with Presidents Nixon and Carter. He also advised the presidential transition teams of Reagan and Clinton. His numerous books include “Through Their Eyes: Foreign Correspondents in the United States” (Brookings, 2005), “Organizing the Presidency,” with James Pfiffner (Brookings, third edition in 2002) and “The Ungentlemanly Art” (1968).

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading- promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 13-034
ISSN 0731-3527