VENTURA, Calif. -- I was thrilled the other night when my friend Jonathan Nicholas (pictured here) received the annual Will Rogers Humanitarian Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Jonathan, who late last year left the Oregonian, Portland's newspaper, after about 25 years as a columnist, is, like me, a former NSNC president.
More than 20 years ago, Jonathan helped create an event called Cycle Oregon, a bike trip to raise funds for various great project around his state. For the fascinating history of this event, click here. Today Cycle Oregon has a foundation of about $1.6 million and is able to give away $100,000 or more a year.
Anyway, several years ago NSNC member Bob Haught created the Will Rogers award to honor columnists who have been doing wonderful things for their cities or states. It's one more way that people with whom I spent my career are living moral lives.
And it's one more reason to bemoan the trouble so many newspapers are in. These columnists, who make such a difference in people's lives, now must reinvent themselves in various ways. And they will. And as they do you can bet that many of them will continue to be ethical people who give a great deal to their readers and their communities.
Yes, there are unethical people in the media, including the newspaper business. But people like Jonathan and previous Will Rogers winners put them all to shame.
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P.S.: Sorry it took time the last few days to post comments. I was traveling to and from California. But I'm back now so things should go more smoothly. Bill.