Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Loss in the journalism world

Tragedy hit the journalism world hard this past week. David Carr, Stan Chambers, and Bob Simon all passed away merely days apart from each other. All were tremendous writers and enjoyed their professions within journalism for over 15 years.

The first passing occurred Feb. 11, 2015 when Bob Simon was involved in a serious traffic accident in Manhattan, New York. Simon suffered a broken neck and severe head injuries during the accident. He was transported to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and later passed away at the age of 73.

According to The New York Times, David Carr was found unconscious in the Time’s newsroom on Feb. 12, 2015, one day after Simon’s passing. Carr was also then taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital where he shortly passed away. He was 58 years old. The caused for Carr’s death is still unknown.

After the death of two well-known writers, Stand Chambers passed away at the age of 91 on Feb. 13, 2015. As reported by KTLA news, Chambers family confirms his passing took place at 10:30 am that day.

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Before their passing’s, these men did extraordinary things.Bob Simon’s career focused mainly on broadcast news. He constantly traveled and reported from deep within war zones says The Los Angeles Times. During his coverage of the Persian Gulf War, Simon and his news crew were taken hostage by Iraqi captors. As described in Simons book, “Forty Days,” he and his crew were starved and beaten during their imprisonment.

“…I found I reached a certain accommodation with the beatings. Your instinct immediately afterward is to check, ‘Can I see? Can I hear? Am I OK in the vital parts… I tried to keep that out of my mind as much as I could.” wrote Simon. After 40 days of being held hostage, Simon and his crew were finally released with the help of then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

“Gorbachev was the only world leader with any leverage in Baghdad; everyone else was at war with them,” Simon said. Even though Simon experienced such a traumatic experience, he continued in his profession of journalism for an additional 14 years.

When it comes to David Carr, he never reported live from a battlefield, however, he was involved in many battles of his own. Carr began his career with Twin Cities Reader where he was editor. By 2002, he was a business writer for The New York Times.

According to the Times, Carr was, “a distinctive figure in the newsroom.” Before and while striving high at work, he became mixed up in the dark world of drugs. Carr was addicted to crack cocaine. In a 2008 article published by the New York Times, Carr describes his personal journey through this battle.

“After shooting or smoking a large dose, there would be the tweaking and a vigil at the front window, pulling up the corner of the blinds to look for the squads I was always convinced were on their way,” Carr writes.

Everyday, Carr sat and waited for his day of judgment, the day that police would storm into his home and take away all the drugs. Despite everything, Carr made it through. He found the perfect woman, had amazing children and was capable of obtaining a dream job that many would kill for. He is a great example that it is possible to rise again after reaching the lowest point in your life.

The final passing of a journalist, hit home here in Los Angeles. Stan Chambers worked for Los Angeles’s KTLA 5 for over 50 years. As reported by KTLA, Chambers was responsible for almost 22,000 stories through out his career.

One of the biggest stories Chambers covered was concerning a small child who was trapped in an abandoned well in San Marino. For 27 hours, Chambers along with a colleague took turns broadcasting the events that took place. “It really brought the city together,” expressed Chambers. After that point in time, the city of Los Angeles began a bond that would continue on for the next six decades.

These three men dedicated their lives to their professions, and did it well. At times, it was their profession that kept them going. It is a sad week, but it must be a week in which they are remembered and celebrated. May they rest in peace, and may current and future journalists use these men as examples of how journalism is meant to be.

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