- Historic Sites
Cantaloupes And Atom Bombs
October/november 1984 | Volume 35, Issue 6
The differences between journalism and history? There is, of course, the fact that one is a tightly structured profession requiring substantial academic credentials while the other respects these credentials yet, except in a few specialized fields of journalism, does not require them. But the more interesting difference, it seems to me, is that we journalists happily do the work and spend the millions to gather—often indiscriminately and sometimes without knowing what we have—news from the entire world every day of every year and pass it on in one form or another for whatever use people care to make of it or for them to ignore, as they choose. And then later the historian can, as journalists cannot, pick and choose from this mass of information and reduce it, or expand it, into a coherent and informative and, we hope, graceful recounting of what happened, why, and with what result. There is enough work here for both of us. Finally, in my own family, what will I put out as news today that my son will treat as history years from now? Neither of us knows.