That awards ceremony

Yours truly was among six honorees as Distinguished Journalist by the Society of Professional Journalists Greater LA chapter — and it does have to be “greater” to take in Pomona, doesn’t it? Here’s the story that interviewed me about it.

Alas, the Nov. 4 ceremony was remote rather than an in-person banquet. In fact, we taped the whole thing via Zoom from our homes in early October and, with a few technical additions, such as photos of us on the job, it aired online just as recorded.

(When the event aired, by the way, I was attending a talk in Riverside to get material for my Nov. 7 column. Was that bad? Ehh, I felt as if I’d already seen the ceremony anyway.)

The whole thing lasts a mere 45 minutes, and if you’re having a slow day, here’s the link to watch the whole thing. My own portion — the general introduction of what the award is about by the emcee, the introduction of me by a former editor, then my remarks — starts at 6:48 and ends at 10:51.

I was up first and wore my “Save a Journalist, Buy a Newspaper” T-shirt. We were told to keep our remarks under 2 minutes and I did. As the speeches progressed, I wondered if I’d made a mistake by dressing and speaking so informally. But, hey, my choices reflect my personality, which is what being a columnist is all about, right?

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Hot off the Progress-Bulletin linotype machine

The former Progress-Bulletin newspaper headquarters in downtown Pomona is still around, now dubbed the Progress Building and used for lofts, retail, a bar and an art gallery. The latter, the Prog Gallery, is in the basement. And in the basement, off in a corner, stands the Prog’s old linotype machine.

That’s the machine on which articles were typeset for decades. It looks like a beast, but at the time the linotype was an advancement over handsetting of type, i.e., a human picking out metal bits of type from boxes for each letter and form of punctuation.

The linotype would set, yes, entire lines of type all at once when an operator typed out the lines on a 90-character keyboard. The Prog’s machine was made by the leading manufacturer, the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. It was in use until about 1976, retired Prog/Daily Bulletin staffer Mike Brossart tells me. That’s when phototypesetting was introduced.

I was in the basement looking at art a few weeks ago and noticed the machine. I must have seen it before, but it caught my eye, so I snapped a couple of photos for posterity.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry for linotype if you want to delve more deeply.

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