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Communicating with the New America

Franz Schurmann's Acceptance Speech at the 2004 NCM Awards

Posted: Mar 25, 2009

Trained as a scholar, I always loved newspapers for the immediacy they conveyed and the way they connected me to the world.

When I co-founded Pacific News Service in 1970 I was eager to bring a scholar's expertise to the American press about the growing U.S. involvement in the world, especially East Asia. As a historian I understood that people live in history and I saw my role and the role of Pacific News Service as describing how these larger forces were impacting people's lives.

But it is journalism that has taught me that history also lives in people. And today, as I sit at my desk in San Francisco -- the Eastern most point of the Far East and the northwestern point of Latin America -- it is the world that is coming to America. And it is the media that form the bridges connecting the homelands and the newlands that are my primary sources for understanding who we are becoming and where we are going.

PNS' outreach to ethnic media over the last eight years mirrors my own impatience with one pair of eyes -- and my belief that the collaboration of news media here in this room tonight represents where journalism has to move to remain relevant.

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