John McCaslin

"In fact, the only part of this river that's scenic is the graffiti that's found on the bridges and the human embankments that are part of this river system. The only thing that's wild about this river are the gangs that wrote this graffiti in the first place."

Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, during recent House debate on a bill authored by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank to include the Taunton River in southeastern Massachusetts in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers program. Mr. Bishop argued it "doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if you are floating down this river, it is not wild and scenic if you can look over and see the local McDonald's right there on the bank."


Like other industries around the country, journalism is experiencing its own downward trend, not so much because of the economy, rather because of the changing landscape of the Fourth Estate in this rapidly expanding computer age.

As the Columbian Journalism Review (CJR) writes: "The steady drip of layoffs and buyouts, slowly desiccating newsrooms around the country has also produced a reservoir of anger, sadness, fear, uncertainty … among reporters and editors who invested years of their lives to print journalism only to be invited out of the business."

If it's unable to assist in any other way, CJR is now providing space in its online magazine (the paper edition is bimonthly) for "anyone so inclined to channel the emotions, not into a rant — although there might be a bit of that — but rather into a reflection on what went wrong, and where we might go from here."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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