Christian Science Monitor Vet Brad Knickerbocker Retires

After six years as a Navy pilot, Brad Knickerbocker wound his way to a long and successful career in journalism.

AshlandDailyTidings_09_09Would this work, today? Probably not.

From the Ashland Daily Tidings front-page farewell to longtime locally based Oregon journalist Brad Knickerbocker, who has hung it up after 43 years with the Christian Science Monitor, 26 of those from a home office:

With no resume whatever in journalism, Knickerbocker sent out 70 applications to daily papers in the Northeast, New York (his home) and Northwest, landing him one job offer, on the Rochester daily.

His pitch in the letters? “I know how to fly high-performance aircraft and I want to be in journalism, so please hire me.”

After a year-plus covering everything from dog shows to the Attica prison riot, Knickerbocker tried the Christian Science Monitor, starting there in 1972. They liked him.

Knickerbocker – who says he might still do the odd freelance piece for the publication – worked for the Monitor in Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. He moved to Ashland in 1989 and, as one of the first real telecommuting journalists in the U.S., he has some interesting thoughts about that phase of his career and what it takes to succeed away from the newsroom.

In 2000, Knickerbocker put his old Navy “tailhooker” pilot training to new use, traveling around the world in a Cessna 182 and documenting his experiences for the Monitor under the series headline “Small Plane, Big Planet.” No doubt he will be back on the world travels trail soon.

Nice piece by freelancer John Darling who, as it just so happens, shares many things in common with his latest subject. Like Knickerbocker, he was a Marine who served in the Vietnam War and planted his feet at that time in journalism.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Daily Newspaper Vet Gives Print Delivery the Boot
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@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.