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"Duchess made the news business sound like so much fun," Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, said of his lifelong friendship with the late Chicago newspaperwoman Virginia "The Duchess" Marmaduke. Simon, who visited SIU Carbondale to deliver the Virginia Marmaduke lecture to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of WSIU Radio, discussses him memories of the Duchess and reflects upon how the craft of journalism is changing in today's world of instant media access on this week's WSIU InFocus.
The Chicago native tells WSIU Radio's Jeff Williams that Marmaduke believed that journalism was something worth dedicating your life to. "You'll never make a living out of it," he remembers Virginia telling him, "but it's a hell of a way to live."
Simon tells Williams that the internet has deprofessionalized journalism with both good and bad results. On the one hand, the web has given just about everyone in the world a voice with which tell their story, but it's also a source of a great deal of misinformation like those who insist that humans never walked on the moon. "The possibilites are endless and I think it's going to change our lives the way electronics changed our society when it replaced print," said Simon who uses the new technology daily. "I'm on Twitter and I like it a lot. We're doing a series on immigrant families and I sent out a message and you get scores of people writing back to you from all over the country from all ethnicities, all kinds of income levels, it's wonderful."
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