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Document created: 10 March 03
Air & Space Power Journal - Spring 2003
Ricochets and Replies
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I want to thank your staff and Garner Johnson for the nice review of my book on Gerald Johnson (winter 2002, pages 107- 8). Jungle Ace was a labor of love that started as a paper in graduate school and grew into a career as an aviation historian. I appreciate the kind words that Mr. Johnson had to say about it, and he was right on in his criticisms of the book.
I seldom write letters to editors, but your editorial comments in the winter 2002 issue were so on-target that I felt compelled to send a few words. For most of my working life. I was a reporter or editor at newspapers- the Kansas City Star, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and Milwaukee Journal. From 1985 to 1991, I was editor of The Quill, published by the Society of Professional Journalists, an old-line organization dedicated to the hopeless task of improving the quality of journalism in general and of encouraging higher ethical standards in the practice of journalism. (The latter was also a hopeless task, I fear.)
The value of The Quill depended on men and women on the front lines sharing their experiences, solutions, and opinions with us. All of the comments you noted in "Flight Lines" "almost nobody reads it," "we just don't have time," and so forth- ring true insofar as my experience at The Quill was concerned.
It is a constant battle, this business of getting people who really know something to contribute. But from my vantage point as a regular lay reader of the on-line version of your journal, you do it well.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.
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