Richard Egan’s tragic end

EMC co-founder Richard Egan, battling cancer, died on Friday. From there, stories in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald diverge considerably — it appears that Egan committed suicide, which the Herald had on Saturday, but which the Globe didn’t have until Sunday. John Carroll explains here and here.

10 thoughts on “Richard Egan’s tragic end

  1. Neil

    Journalists and journalism professors appear to be more interested in who got the story first and when other journalists got it than the story itself.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for scrutiny, self-reflection and improvement in the journalism business, I just think the “who got the scoop” pre-occupation is career oriented and self-centered.

    The concerns about the state of journalism in America, the he said/he said style of reporting without calling bullshit bullshit, and the savvy-oriented “will it work” without assessment of the merit and validity of claims made by cited sources are of among the key concerns to me.

    I wonder how journalists and journalism professors feel about those issues.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      Neil: In this case, we can’t even be sure why the Herald got the story first — I’m being pretty careful not to speculate here. I agree, “who got the story first” is an outmoded paradigm.

  2. bill ricker

    ““who got the story first” is an outmoded paradigm.”

    measured in days or editions, very outmoded. It’s now minutes that matter, News.google.com sorts by when it moved – which means one wants to be first with the headeline and latest with amplifications too.

    How again is an online newsroom cheaper, if you need a minimum of 24 editions of the front page ledes?

    Taste will i hope always be an issue differentiating our media outlets. Based on JC’s second quote from Globe, unclear if opted to be sensitive just until someone else broke the the messy details, or if they were out-reported on the police beat.

    My feelings go out not only to the family but to those first on scene and the cleanup crew.

  3. Laurence Glavin

    I wonder if the Egan family made a specific request for privacy to the Globe alone, forgetting to ask the same of the Herald.

  4. Rick in Duxbury

    Does anyone have a plausible explanation as to why Egan’s conviction for going AWOL at 18 from the Marines had to be in the Globe obit? Perhaps the fact that he was a Bush administration appointee?(IMHO, as relevant as the long ago Harvard expulsion of a certain local undergrad/scion, i.e., not very.)

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Rick: Your parenthetical answers your question. All the Kennedy obits mentioned his expulsion from Harvard.

  6. Ron Newman

    The issue here isn’t “who got the story first” but “who got the story right” — and it’s pretty clear that the Herald did and the Globe didn’t. Without the Herald, would the Globe have even fixed their story the next day?

  7. Rick in Duxbury

    Dan, if you really think that a long-forgotten event in the youth of a private citizen is equivalent to one of a series of controversial events (including a fatality)in the career of one of America’s most public people, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. It strikes me that politics trumped decency on this one. Good grief, the man took his own life.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      Rick: I was merely commenting on what seemed to be your suggestion that the Ted Kennedy obits hadn’t mentioned his troubles at Harvard. Although Richard Egan was not a private citizen in any meaningful sense. The man had been in the public spotlight for decades, and had been a public official as well. That said, I probably would have left out his AWOL incident from years ago unless it was well-known. Was it an issue at his confirmation hearings?

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