Michael Connelly and his greatest hero, police detective Harry Bosch, have hit me in the heart again with a random note in the middle of a story. You may recall I recently wrote about Harry’s observations about the newspaper industry.
In Harry’s latest adventure, Two Kinds of Truth, Bosch is reflecting on his new role as a part-time detective with the much smaller San Fernando Police Department after an awkward parting of the ways with the Los Angeles P.D.
“Most of all, the offer came at a time when he felt unfinished. After all the years he had put in, he never expected to walk out the door one day at the LAPD and not be allowed back in. At a period in his life when most men took up golf or bought a boat, Bosch felt resolutely incomplete. He was a closer; he needed to work cases, and setting up shop as a private eye or defense investigator wasn’t going to suit him in the long run.”
As I drove down the highway “reading” the book with the help of Titus Welliver, who performs the audiobook, I realized how much I have in common with Bosch. The only difference is I kind of expected to walk out the door one day at the job I thought I was born to do and not be allowed back in.
But like Bosch, I didn’t feel like I was finished, and it didn’t make a lot of sense to pursue something dramatically different than what I’ve been doing for 42 years – community journalism.
I was the guest Tuesday of the Algoma Optimist Club, who asked me to talk about community journalism. I came across the Bosch quote as I was thinking what I could share about myself and the good work being done by community journalists in a lot of places.
More and more I realize the best journalism is local and independent, where the decisions are made by someone who lives in the community being covered. It’s that simple.