Below in the photo, the Irish scholar Dr. Rory Patrick Feehan, with a PhD in Hunter Thompson studies, assists in leading a packed-house tour of the exhibit “Gonzo! The Illustrated Guide to Hunter S. Thomson” at the Speed Museum After Hours event Friday night, July 19, with curator Erika Holmquist-Wall in the Loft Gallery. Rory filmed the above video of my intro talk July 20 at the Gonzo Fest panel on changes in journalism since Nixon.
To my right is Ryland Barton, the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio. Beyond him is Olivia Kraft of Insider Louisville. The moderator is Timothy Denevi, the author of Freak Kingdom. Rory’s impressive dissertation will soon be a book available in the U.S.
In that photo of the panel, if you notice a windblown look, I rode to the event with all windows rolled down. It was in the best company imaginable – an exciting way to arrive! One thing I particularly appreciated from Ryland Barton is his commitment to fact checking. He pointed out that it used to be standard to have news fact checked after the reporter turned it in. There was a team to do that. Now, a story can be rushed out, lacking the fact-checking protocol, the team behind the individual author(s) of the story, which is on the downside of having do-it-yourself journalism. However, there are pluses as well, to getting news not from trained reporters. You have a wider source base. But you don’t necessarily have that commitment to fact checking. Personally, with my training in research, I always prefer solid fact checking. There’s something about starting out on the right foot of a story – getting it right on the ground level.