By Tom Nash
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — In a Boston Globe piece reminiscing on his experience covering the Woodstock music festival, Steve Kurkjian recalled himself as a law student “with no clear direction for my future.”
The chaos surrounding the generation-defining event helped inspire Kurkjian to decide on journalism as a career. Three years later, he had his first of three Pulitzers, awarded for exposing corruption in Somerville.
Sitting with Kurkjian over lunch, we spent hours talking about how much had changed, and hadn’t changed, in 40 years.
In 2009, the corruption in Somerville is still there. The story of hundreds of thousands of dirty people listening to rock music as the world seemed on the brink of destruction has found its way into American history textbooks.
In 2009, journalism, a field in which Kurkjian is one of its most lauded practitioners, is nearly dead.
After nearly four decades at the Boston Globe, Kurkjian took a buyout from the paper in 2007. He’s reluctant to go into details, but it is widely known that after massive consolidation moves by papers across the country earlier in the decade, executives soon targeted their newsrooms.