Clay Robison, the longtime Chronicle Austin bureau newsman (six days per week) and editorialist (one day per week), pens his farewell column for today’s newspaper.
Much of the column is the customary reflection on a long career on a beat, although Robison couldn’t resist dispensing this bit of advice:
I offer an observation to bloggers, whose presence in the political arena is expanding as the ranks of traditional news reporters thin. There is a difference between reporting and spinning. I have done both for a long time, and reporting is a lot harder.
With regard to the bolded portion — yes, you have, and the combination of heading up the news bureau six days per week and producing a reliably lefty opinion column one day per week was one that many of us found odd (and, frankly, part of the problem).
So … kudos to Clay Robison for a long run in a career he obviously enjoyed. Maybe we’ll even see his writing surface somewhere; surely there’s a publication that could make good use of his institutional knowledge. But looking to the future (instead of back), let’s hope the Chronicle Austin bureau moving forward takes Robison’s parting advice to heart, and focuses only on reporting. There are plenty of sources of opinion these days, but those (we?) editorialists are, in most cases, no substitute for hard-news reporting done by pros.