Max Frankel said he was “honored to be smashing the second bottle of Champaign” on the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University. A top reporter and editor at The New York Times for more nearly 50 years, Frankel spoke last Friday in the Law School building in celebration of the Communication School’s first anniversary, as its own school.
“We never know enough,” Frankel said to the audience when describing what he has learned over the year’s as one of America’s foremost newspapermen. “What you think you know today deserves to be challenged.”
In his presentation, entitled, “Media Madness: The Revolution So Far,” Frankel touched on a range of topics pertaining to today’s state of mass media. This included the current status of television, print and online news, and what future lies ahead for those establishments in an ever-changing world.
“We are blessed by a few distinguished newspapers,” said Frankel, saying that many smaller papers are deprived and could be better. He also added that more money and effort is needed to provide “good news.” He was implying that in-depth intellectual pieces are lacking in many newspapers because it is cheaper and easier to report trivial news.
The author of the best-selling memoir, “The Times Of My Life: And My Life With The Times, Frankel called the election 2000 media disaster “Erroneous and damaging.” He didn’t hesitate to also mention his displeasure with some other media screw-ups in recent years, pointing to the case of wrongly accused Olympic park bomber, Richard Jewell.
Frankel began writing for The New York Times while a student at Columbia University. For the last 50 years, he held major reporting and editing positions, becoming executive editor in 1986. He retired from that post in 1994,
and continues to contribute to The Times and The New York Times magazine.
Frankel was asked what advice he would give to a young journalist: “Learn something every day of your life. Learn a little bit about a lot of things.”
Of his years in journalism: “It’s great being a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s a great ride through life.”