They showed up, more than 300 strong. There were photographers from the time LBJ was president, reporters and writers from the Watergate era, top editors spanning more than 40 years.
They all came to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Jan. 14 to pay tribute to Newsweek, the magazine they once worked for, the magazine that had just published its last print edition. Far from being a gloomy wake, the gathering was a joyful party, a celebration of a once-great magazine by the people who had made it so. Nobody cursed the Internet or blamed this editor or that boss. They just wanted to see old friends and re-live the good old days. It was, after all, a reunion.
I was one of them, a senior editor at Newsweek from 1976 to 1981, and when I heard that a bunch of alums from my era had decided they couldn’t let Newsweek magazine just disappear without lifting a glass in loving memory, I offered the CUNY J-School as the venue. And I proposed that we honor Newsweek, and keep its name alive for future generations, in the most personal way I could think of: by offering a prize to a graduating student who best exemplifies the values, spirit, and excellence of Newsweek.
I’m delighted to report that many staffers have kicked in, and we have so far raised about $40,000, in just a few weeks. And so on May 13, at the School’s annual dinner, we will award the first “Newsweek Magazine Alumni Prize” to a CUNY J-School graduate. I’m looking forward with special pleasure to greeting the winner.
Stephen B. Shepard
Dean, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
From the Spring 2013 issue of InsideStory.