Thursday, August 26, 2010

I met a fascinating woman tonight

Dana Canedy has written a powerful memoir, and her "A Journal for Jordan" has been selected by Point Park University as it summer reading book for incoming freshmen.

Tonight, Ms. Canedy had dinner with various members of the university's administration, faculty and staff. I was fortunate to be among the invitees.

What an amazing woman. Dana, and I use the first name because she had everyone call her by that name, shared her personal and professional history, her commitment to writing the book, what she has learned by writing it and perhaps most importantly why its so important that she and her son continue to grow from it.

Tomorrow, Dana will meet with the university's incoming freshmen, speak to the honors program students and then address everyone who attends convocation. And her commitment to sharing with young people was apparent to me tonight. She told our group -- and yes this really caught my attention -- that she now supervises the internship program at the New York Times, where she had previously been a reporter and editor.

I mentioned to Dana tonight that her discussion about how she investigated her boyfriend's death in Iraq was to me the most important part of the book. I say that because to me it provides a host of important issues that journalists need to consider. They include:

1. When do you know you have enough information?
2. How do you go about seeking information from sources that are not going to quickly or comfortably open up to the media?
3. Whether the details of the death of an American soldier should be made available to his or her family?

The questions can, of course, continue.

Indeed, what a fascinating woman. I told her at the end of the evening as she signed my copy of the book that it must have taken a tremendous amount of coverage to offer up such a personal account of one's life, the death of a loved one and to allow your young child to instantly become a public figure.

I'm honored to have met her.

No comments: