Sunday, June 07, 2009

Distracted by a Web site covering Dixie like...

Searching for a D-Day story about a World War II foreign correspondent for a history article, I stumbled on something new instead: Like the Dew, a Journal of Southern Culture & Politics launched in March and aiming to live up to the old Atlanta Journal motto, "We cover Dixie like the Dew."

According to the site's "about" page, Like the Dew plans to draw on free-lance contributors to report on news and life in 16 states from Florida to Maryland and Texas to West Virginia. More than 50 contributors are already listed, but the mainstays are founder Keith Graham of Atlanta, who spent more than 25 years at the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and site designer Lee Leslie, whose background is advertising, marketing and blogging. Between them, they've contributed more than 80 articles. Other contributors include Mike Williams, a former Cox Newspapers foreign correspondent, and Eleanor Ringel Cater, long-time movie critic for the Journal and Constitution.

(While the Dew falls heaviest in Georgia, the site isn't exclusively Atlanta -- I see a story about a Appalachian trail maintenance here in Southwest Virginia, others from Florida and Alabama, one about a Texas graduation, and there are a couple of my former colleagues at the University of Tennessee on the contributor list.)

So what does any of this have to do with my original search for that D-Day reporter? Not much; just some Web serendipity. The hits at weren't the right ones, but they did include two stories that kept me reading, a D-Day landing account in a 1944 letter from Graham's uncle, and "'Evil Reporter Chick' Moni Basu is OK," University of Georgia journalism student Anna Dolianitis's profile of another Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter, a former war correspondent, but from the wrong war for my search.

Basu was one of 73 of the AJC's staff who took a buyout this year, after working as a foreign correspondent in Iraq, among other things. So far, she isn't on the Like the Dew contributor list, but Basu is still in journalism -- and still in Atlanta -- at CNN Wire.