January 28, 2002 Vol. VI, No. 9

Northridge Journalism Department chair Cynthia Rawitch and Coe Wilkins of the Los Angeles Press Club (top) unveil the Fallen Journalists Memorial at its new home in Manzanita Hall. At bottom, KCET news anchor Jess Marlow (right) emcees the rededication of the memorial.

Fallen Journalists Memorial Finds New Home on Campus

News Executives Attend Rededication Ceremony in Manzanita Hall, Home to Northridge Journalism Program

A bronze and wood memorial dedicated to California journalists who lost their lives while on the job has found a new, permanent home at Cal State Northridge.

The Los Angeles Press Club's Fallen Journalists Memorial was formally rededicated in a place of honor in Manzanita Hall, the home of the university's nationally recognized Journalism Department, during a special ceremony in late November.

During the ceremony, an 18th name was added to the memorial, that of Los Angeles Daily News reporter James Bertken. The Cal State Northridge alumnus was swept overboard while covering a sports fishing story off the central California coast in 1995.

The ceremony was attended by an array of California journalists and news executives, along with friends and family of the fallen journalists, students and faculty.

"We are proud to have been chosen as the memorial's permanent home, sharing the tradition of outstanding California journalism with future generations of students," said Journalism Department chair Cynthia Rawitch.

Rawitch, also a member of the Fallen Journalists Memorial Committee, said the group is planning to add a 19th name to the memorial later this spring. That will be Ken Inouye, a foreign correspondent killed in a 1950 plane crash in Korea while returning from Japan to cover the Korean conflict.

The Los Angeles Press Club created the memorial in 1979, a year after three California journalists were killed in an ambush in Jonestown, Guyana. At that time, the Press Club's Board of Directors decided it should include the names of all Californians killed while on assignment.

The Press Club enlisted the aid of the Associated Press, United Press International and the California Newspaper Publishers Association in identifying journalists to be included on the memorial, the only one of its kind in California.

Founded in 1946, the Los Angeles Press Club is a service organization devoted to improving the spirit of journalism and journalists, while strengthening the integrity and improving the reputation of the industry.

The memorial was displayed in the Press Club's building on Vermont Avenue until the building was sold in the late 1980s. The memorial then was installed in 1989 in Los Angeles City Hall, where it hung until the 1994 earthquake. The memorial then was put into a closet while City Hall was retrofitted, and had remained there until recently.

The journalists listed on the memorial, in addition to Bertken, include:

The journalists listed on the memorial worked for newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television. They covered war and rebellion, civil disturbances, traffic and sports.

Former KNBC Channel 4 anchor Jess Marlow, who now hosts KCET's "Life and Times" news program, served as master of ceremonies for the rededication. He also was master of ceremonies when the memorial was originally installed in 1979.

More than 450 students from a variety of backgrounds are enrolled in the journalism program at Northridge. It offers training in several fields, including newspapers, radio and television broadcasting, photography and magazines. .

@csun | January 28, 2002 issue
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