During his 20-year tenure running the British newspaper The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger collaborated with NSA contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on blockbuster stories drawn from secret government documents. He also had to help remake the paper in the digital age.
David Carr, who writes the Media Equation column for The New York Times, says that despite cuts, the future of journalism has never looked brighter. "I look at my backpack that is sitting here and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago," he says.
This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 27, 2011.
Rob Siegel and Carol Kolb of The Onion. It's a weekly national newspaper and Web site. The satirical tabloid-style dispatch has headlines like "Lowest Common Denominator Continues to Plummet" and "U.S. Vows to Defeat Whoever It Is We're at War With." Siegel is The Onion's editor-in-chief and Kolb is the senior editor. The Onion began in 1988 as an alternative weekly newspaper and went online in 1996.
We remember the former publisher of The Washington Post, Katharine Graham. She died July 17th at the age of 84. Graham's father owned The Post in 1933 and later her husband, Phil Graham, took over. Following her husband's suicide in 1963, Graham became publisher, knowing little about the managerial or journalistic aspects of the job. But, learning while she worked, she transformed the paper into one of the country's most respected newspapers. The Post broke the Watergate scandal and published the Pentagon Papers against a federal judge's ruling.
The NPR foreign correspondent has a new book, called "Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege." During the height of the conflict, the city was in ruins. But one symbol of hope remained constant for its people: Oslobodjenje, the city's multi-ethnic daily newspaper. When the siege began, the paper's editor vowed, "As long as Sarajevo exists, this paper will publish everyday."
Maureen Corrigan has regularly read the Sunday New York Times wedding announcements. She says the kind of information that's printed -- and the kinds of couples who are highlighted might say as much about the paper's editorial slant as much as it does the current state of marriage.
Geoffrey Stokes has been a staff writer for The Village Voice since 1973. He is the editor of the "New Village Voice Anthology," a collection of articles from the newspapers from 1956-1980. Stokes joins the show to discuss the Anthology and the Voice's history.