One of my mentors, the great Peter Delevett, is leaving the Mercury News after 14 years and quitting journalism. He covered Silicon Valley through three booms and two busts, interviewed Marc Andreessen over pancakes and chased Steve Jobs down a Palo Alto side street, and led the paper's coverage of California government and the election to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Peter kept doing brilliant work even as the Merc shrank from 400 journalists to under 90. A few weeks ago he watched as men with acetylene torches dismantled the paper's press so its parent company could sell the building and move it into a smaller office. There are a lot of reasons for the Merc's fall, and that of the newspaper industry as a whole, but the quality of the work done smart, dogged, brook-no-bullshit journalists like Peter is not among them.
Thanks, Peter, for making journalism a profession I was proud to enter even at a time when it looked like it might all be falling apart—for teaching me how to write a lede and a kicker and find the story behind the spin—for putting up with and not putting up with my blown deadlines—and for helping me find my way through all the layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs, and consolidations to a job I love. Congratulations on your next venture and good luck.