Accolades aplenty are rolling in for one of the best in journalism who is retiring with a 48-year career to her credit. She not only deserves all of them. She deserves more.
Yet, even though she not only wrote more stories than most journalists and her stories were no doubt read by more newspaper readers around the world than any other reporter of our times, Linda Deutsch is not a household name outside the worlds of journalism and the legal system. That’s because she worked for The Associated Press and even though AP credit appeared on her stories that newspapers published, more often than not Linda’s name didn’t.
Linda first entered my world more than two decades ago when I was a seasoned reporter-turned novice court information officer, on the job with the Los Angeles Superior Court for just three months when the Rodney King-beating trial began.
To my great fortune, Linda was tolerant and forgiving of my wet-behind-the-ears efforts to be a competent liaison between the Court and the news media. For the next decade, from Rodney King through Menendez brothers, Heidi Fleiss, O. J. Simpson and a host of other high profile trials that proliferated in the Los Angeles courts, I came to respect and even admire her objectivity, professionalism, tenacity in her reporting and for being an unparalleled champion of the First Amendment’s free press rights. After I left the court we stayed in touch and I was fortunate enough to be counted among her legions of good friends. Linda has more friends and the unique ability to make each one of us feel special than anyone I know.
In no way can I do her justice in this or even a year’s worth of blog posts. But I do offer a link to a Huffington Post piece that does a good job of capturing Linda the journalist, mentor and friend.
Even though I’ve heard many, many of her stories, both in private conversations with her and at conferences where she was a featured speaker, I’m right behind the writer of this piece, Judy Farah, in line to get a copy of Linda’s published memoirs.
Write on, Linda!