I interviewed Chicago Reporter publisher Alden Loury this afternoon, and during our discussion he told me about some of the smaller tasks he handled during the early days of his journalism career, including work as a score-taker at the News-Gazette in Champaign. (A score-taker sat in the newsroom and fielded calls from coaches, who would tell him the score of their recently completed game, along with any vital statistics.) This discussion about the small yet vital jobs in journalism was ringing in my head when I picked up a copy of the Reader and read their fall movie picks, as penned by J.R. Jones.
Certainly Jones is more accomplished now than Loury was in his News-Gazette days, but it is Jones's experience and craft that elevates an otherwise routine task of writing 150-200 word previews into small art. I particularly enjoyed his closing line on the entry for The Ides of March. Read and enjoy.