OLD Media Moves

Personal tech columnist says goodbye

July 31, 2008

In his last column, Baltimore Sun personal tech columnist Mike Himowitz writes about how he used the earliest personal computers as a reporting tool and how faithful readers saved his long-running column.

Baltimore SunHimowitz writes, “Today this is known as Computer Assisted Reporting, a recognized specialty that gives reporters and editors the power to sort through huge volumes of public data and write stories that might have taken months or years in the days before PCs — if they were possible to do at all. Like me, most of the people who do this are not math jocks or geeks — just reporters who want answers to questions and use computers as a tool.

“After I’d bungled my way through enough of this stuff to be dangerous, I thought it might a fun sideline to share what I’d learned with readers who were still mystified by the digital world but keen to learn more about it.

“As it turned out, there were and are plenty of you — enough to have rescued the column twice over the years when the bean counters threatened to kill it off. For that outpouring of support, I will always be grateful.

“Alas, there aren’t enough of you in general these days. Readers, I mean. Not to mention advertisers.”

Read more here.

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