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James O.E. Norell - April 12, 1943 - September 25, 2017

NRA has lost one of its greatest communicators with the sudden passing of James O. E. Norell. Norell passed while vacationing in Chincoteague, Va., on Sept. 25, 2017. He was 74 years old.
For more than four decades, Norell crafted many of the compelling arguments on behalf of NRA leadership that motivated millions of NRA members to continue their staunch defense of their constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms—often successfully reaching out to and converting those who held opposing beliefs about gun ownership. As the first Director of Communications for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Norell was once considered the voice in Washington when it came to public dissemination of NRA’s message.
Prior to his tenure at NRA-ILA, Norell worked as a journalist for various newspapers, including the Washington Star, before becoming press secretary to Idaho Senator James McClure. After his NRA-ILA service, Norell went on to work at Legal Services Corporation. Norell was an avid hunter, gun collector and fisherman. He was an NRA Benefactor member, and was a member of NRA's Public Affairs Committee. Norell also has many award-winning screenwriting and filmography credits to his name. He appeared regularly on American Rifleman TV as a subject matter expert on certain firearms.

Full article: NRA's Voice for Freedom

Kirk Oberfeld, Editorial Writer - July 28, 2017

Kirk Oberfeld, 72, a former reporter, editor and editorial writer with the old Washington Star and the Washington Times, died July 28 at a hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. The cause was multiple organ failure and liver disease, said a brother, Keith Oberfeld.


Mr. Oberfeld was born in East Orange, N.J. A former reporter at the Philadelphia Bulletin, he worked for the Star from 1979 to 1982. He then went to the Times and was managing editor of the newspaper’s Insight magazine from 1985 to 1995. Later he was marketing director for ProFunds, an investment organization, and editor in chief of Philanthropy magazine. In 2007, he moved to New York City from Bethesda, Md., and was director of Business Executives for National Security, a nonprofit organization. He moved to Grand Rapids about five years ago.

Edward Kirk Oberfeld of Grand Rapids, Michigan, aged 72 years, passed away on July 28, 2017, after a brief illness. Kirk was born in East Orange, New Jersey, to Edward and Charlene Oberfeld, and grew up in New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio. Kirk graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Political Science, and after additional post graduate work in Germany, took his M.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University.

Kirk lived most of his adult life on the East Coast, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Washington DC, and New York, but made frequent trips home to visit his parents in Grand Rapids, for famous holiday meals including his favorite oyster dressing. Kirk, as a conservative, and his brother and parents as liberals, engaged in many spirited discussions over the holidays. Kirk and Pam met and married in Washington D.C., and enjoyed living in there for many years.

Kirk's first love was journalism. He began his career in Columbus, Ohio, for UPI, and later went to work as an editorial writer for the Battle Creek Enquirer. He reported and editorialized for the Philadelphia Bulletin for many years, and sold and collected artworks in Baltimore for a time. He moved to Washington D.C. to work for the Washington Star and went on to create the first new weekly news magazine to be published in fifty years. That magazine, "Insight on the News", became one of the first strong conservative voices in Washington. Kirk later worked in fundraising for two large National Security non-profits. Kirk made frequent appearances on the Financial News Network, CNN, CNBC and C-Span as an expert political commentator. Kirk's passion was collecting period glass, furniture and art, primarily from the Art Nouveau period.


Collection address delivered by Barbara Cochran ‘67 during this year’s Alumni Weekend and her 50th Reunion

Barbara Cochran ‘67 is the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and director of the school’s Washington program. She has held executive positions in newspapers, radio, television and the non-profit sector. She was managing editor of the Washington Star, vice president for news at NPR, where she directed the creation of NPR’s Morning Edition, was executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press and then vice president and Washington bureau chief of CBS News–the first woman to head a network bureau in Washington. Cochran served for 12 years as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Full story: Barbara Cochran

Wash Post Busted Pressmen’s Union in 1975 Strike. Why It Still Matters Today.

Attribution: The Washington Post
The day after the strike began, another friend and fellow publisher, Arthur Sulzberger of The New York Times, was in D.C. having lunch with Joe Allbritton, the publisher of the Washington Star, the Post’s only major competitor. Sulzberger denied he was in D.C. to pressure Allbritton to join forces with the Post crush the pressmen by printing the Post on the Star’s presses.

“Of course, I didn’t advise Mr. Allbritton what to do. He didn’t ask my advice… and I’m not in any position to give advice,” Sulzberger told a reporter. It was just a friendly lunch, the day after the strike began, and the Times publisher just happened to bring up the following: “I told him about the New York situation in which the unions learned to whipsaw the papers until they [the papers’ owners] learned to work together.”

While Sulzberger denied pressing Allbritton, Graham didn’t. “On the morning of October 2, Mark [Meagher] and I went to see Joe Allbritton to propose the idea that the Star print the Post on its presses, which would, of course, have resulted in that paper’s being shut down, too,” Graham wrote.

Had the Star printed the Post, the Star’s pressmen were expected to strike in solidarity with the Post pressmen. And a stoppage could have put the Star, which was facing financial difficulties, out of business.

Still, Times columnist James Reston thought the Star should print the Post “even if they had to go down together.” Allbritton, however, thought differently and continued publishing only the Star.

Attribution: Pete Tucker -
Full story: 1975 Strike

Gloria Borger Wiki

Gloria Borger’s years of experience made her a noteworthy political pundit in the media. She grew up in New Rochelle, New York, where her father ran an electrical appliances distributorship called Borgers. After graduating from Colgate University in 1974, she worked as a journalist, columnist, and political analyst.
She began her career as a political reporter for The Washington Star. In her early broadcast career, she worked on CNBC’s Capital Report as a co-anchor. She even made appearances on CBS’ 60 Minutes II and Face the Nation. She was also a contributor and columnist for US News and World Report magazine. She joined CNN in 2007, where her work was recognized with several honors and awards.

Attribution>  Caroline John -
Full Story> Borger

The Health Of The Community Newspaper

The Evening Star appeared downtown in 1852 and, renamed the Washington Star, lasted until 1981, when its final parent (my then-employer) Time Incorporated shuttered it. (Today Time is confronting its own digital-age survival challenges.)

The Post (where I did two stints) arrived in 1877 as a “four-page organ of the Democratic Party,” the Britannica says. It was joined in the 20th century by the original Washington Times, the Times-Herald and Washington Daily News.

Attribution:Charlie Clark -
Full story: Our man in Arlington