"If we intend to have jobs 20 years from now, if we intend to own any validity in our fight for progress and reform, we have to reverse the trends that infect our business." That's Ben Montgomery, a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, describing why he created a blog devoted to "prolonging the slow death of newspapers" by showcasing great writing.
In his June 2005 inaugural post on gangrey.com, he argues, "We have to tell stories like David Finkel and W.C. Heinz and Anne Hull and Ernie Pyle. We have to inspire like Michael Brick and C.J. Chivers and Kelley Benham. We have to captivate like Rick Bragg and Barry Siegel and Kate Boo and Earl Swift.
"We have to make the people who pick us up in the morning say, "Damn, that was a good story."
"We have to get better."
Meg Martin, Poynter's Naughton Fellow, turned me on to the site. His storytelling manifesto, she says, "was his first entry (and one of the reasons why I SO love this particular blog, besides the fact that it's got fantastic links to incredible journalism."
That was all I needed to know.