Sunday, August 23, 2009

Daily News editor offers tribute to Harlan Stark

In a rare Sunday offering of his Whirled Peas column, Neosho Daily News Managing Editor John Ford offers a rribute to the late Harlan Stark, who died Friday:

Harlan was an old-time shoe-leather reporter. He hit the coffee shops, the donut shops, the little cafes and greasy spoons, looking for leads. Harlan talked with everyone, from the “movers and shakers” to those who moved the salt shakers.

I don’t know what he would make of journalism today. Given his work with his long-time partner, Dick Keezer, I think he would have dived right into photo slideshows and videos, but would probably be leery of trusting the Internet as an information source. It seems to me he would have rather talked to the court clerk face to face to find out what was on an upcoming docket, rather than pull up the records electronically on Case.Net.

Harlan was one of those vets young reporters could look up to, could admire. The type of reporter who strived to get it right, and would freely admit when he was wrong.

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