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On the retirement of a journalism icon

By Josh Richman
Friday, November 9th, 2012 at 1:53 pm in Media.

I attended a surprise retirement party this morning at KQED in San Francisco for Belva Davis, whose last episode of “This Week In Northern California” will air at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Belva DavisI’ll not recount her long, storied career here; we’ve already carried a great story this week about her amazing contributions to journalism. But I’ll tell you what I told her today: Whatever I’ve done so far in my career, and whatever I do in the future, having worked with Belva Davis will always be among the honors and privileges of which I’m proudest.

Calling her a trailblazer – while certainly true – doesn’t adequately describe the honesty, integrity, professionalism and kindness she has brought to her work every day over these many decades. As some speakers at today’s party said, she embodies the “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” credo of journalism, but never in a mean-spirited way – she has had a keen sense of the right questions to ask, and the unerring bravery to ask them.

Her retirement, while so very well-deserved, will be a loss felt by so very many journalists and viewers all over Northern California. She can be succeeded, but never replaced.

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  • Elwood

    Best wishes to Belva in retirement.

    Anyone except me remember “News Room” on KQED?

  • John W

    As a relative newcomer to the Bay Area, I’ve never followed her TV work. But I heard radio talk show host John Rothmann interview her about her life and then read her autobiography. Her personal and professional story is truly amazing, but the book also has a lot of post WW2 history about Oakland and the Bay Area.