Lindell Kay – Reporter for The Rocky Mount Telegram – Saying Adieu

I left for the University of Kentucky declaring I would major in journalism, that is until I came under the spell of my freshman advisor, head of the Sociology Department. I had grown up with the Chicago Tribune that loomed large over the city. I have had many a serious discussion about the state of journalism today or lack thereof. Not since the famous journalists of a bygone era populated the scene has there been a time like now–admit it, you have done it too– When Lindell Kay started his series of exposes on the City Council and Rocky Mounts leadership, night after night to this day, I look at the app on my phone in the middle of the night to see what Lindell has written.

I highly recommend Harold Evans autobiography, My Paper Chase-True Stories of Vanished Times for the most marvelous read about his career that led to the Editorship of the London Times and beyond. He knew everyone in the business when journalism was investigative versus today’s state of things; someone’s opinion! Here are a few lines for Lindell Kay’s move, much to his pleasure because now, “I can even meet my wife for lunch.” Harold Evans writes, So it was that in June 1961, Westminster chess master Fenby (the editor) designated me as the bishop to move diagonally north from Manchester to edit the Northern Echo…”

We owe a debt of gratitude that the Telegram saw fit to give Lindell his head, put his investigative skills to work, and let him have at it. Those under investigation were caught in the headlights of countless hours of work going through records, e-mails, making telephone calls, listening to numerous private conversations when people were emboldened to come forth.

Tom Rachman has written a delightful novel, The Imperfecionists. Set in Rome it is about the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international¬†English-language newspaper as they struggle to keep it and themselves afloat. I loved it. In saying adieu to reporter Lindel Kay, with our thanks for his contribution towards bringing the skullduggery¬†of things to our attention, we hope he will remember his readers here as ‘a sort of fellowship’ who have wakened in the night just for him.

“For many, especially those in remote locales, the paper is their only link to the greater world, to the big cities they left, or the big cities they have never seen, only built in their minds. The readers constitute a sort of fellowship that never meets, united by love and loathed by bylines, by screwed-up photo captions, by the glorious corrections box.” Tom Rachman

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