Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Funday: Keeping Things Straight

It's been a busy week, filled with passionate topics and people. So much has happened since we returned on Monday, yet at least one very important thing seems to have been missed this week in much of the Nebraska media - a proper send-off for a Nebraska treasure.

In case you missed it, Ed Howard, a friend, colleague, and journalist, both on the Nebraska level and on the national media scene, passed away this week at the age of 63.

It's Friday, so we have no plans to be maudlin about Howard's death. We have a feeling Ed wouldn't appreciate that very much, and might even be a real pain in the assinine (his phrase) towards us if we got too weepy -  especially because our Friday edition is supposed to be positive.

We're also not going to screw around though. Ed was a brilliant mind and a real character. So we want to share a few positive notes about Ed Howard with you, in case you didn't know him like we did.

Over the years, Ed was responsible for more great political information in Nebraska than most folks realize. He was the institutional memory of politics in the state for virtually everyone, from either major party - and all the smaller political groups and parties too.

When thinking about all Ed did for media and journalism in Nebraska - and indeed around the country - it's easy to get a smile on your face, if you enjoy high quality reporting, like Ed did.

As another one of our media colleagues noted on Wednesday, Ed was a long time writer for the Associated Press, in more than one bureau around the country. Ed was also one of the founding editors of StatePaper.com, and for many years now, he wrote columns for the Nebraska Press Association to go along with the Capitol News cartoons of our Editor in Chief, Paul Fell.

As he told us many years ago, Ed welcomed criticism of his work. More than once he told us, "My record, personal and professional, is what it is and I stand by it. Bad and good."

If more media organizations - and politicians - had Ed Howard's philosophy, we are certain the entire country, and indeed our world, would be better for it.

As our own policy mirrors Ed's, we know that at least here that kind of integrity in media still continues.

Before we head off for the weekend, and raise a toast to Ed, we want to leave you with some parting words he left us in an e-mail a while back.

Ed wrote to give us some great advice and told us he really enjoyed The Daily Felltoon, that we were "spot on" with the cartoon, commentary, and news links we'd published in that day's edition.

After a short suggestion on how we could improve our research the next time we tackled the same topic, Ed ended his brief missive with this:

"Keep Fell on the straight and narrow.
Or, at least try to keep him straight. Narrow is obviously not in the cards, [at The Daily Felltoon].
Best regards."

Thanks for everything, Ed. Best regards to you too.

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