The author is joined by his editor, Mr. Ruan, at the moment the new book is unveiled for the first time. Are we happy campers or what? (Photo by Chen Kai)
The author is joined by his editor, Mr. Ruan, at the moment the new book is unveiled for the first time. Are we happy campers or what? (Photo by Chen Kai)

Jock Lauterer, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Carolina Community Media Project at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has returned to China for a third summer to teach Community Journalism at workshops from Beijing to Chongqing to Guangzhou. His latest book, “Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local,” was released yesterday in Shenzhen, after being revised and translated into Mandarin Chinese.

I don’t think many people will ever fully appreciate how deeply satisfying this new book is to me — the grandson of the UNC head librarian, the curator of the Wilson Library Rare Book Room, and the son of the bibliophile and circulation desk “mom” to hundreds of undergrads back in the ‘60s at Carolina.

All my DNA hollers “Hooray! A book!” It is the currency of my family, the way we measure wealth, health and education, and the way we decorate our homes. A room without books is just a sad, barren mistake, lacking in the resonance and relevance of life!

If I had my way, I’d line the walls with books, floor to ceiling, and have one of those old Dickensian ladders rolling between the venerable stacks of weighty tomes.

So here! Happy birthday to the latest member of the family, who, upon bedtime, spent its first night resting on the author’s chest, like a newborn in its mother’s embrace.

Ask any guy author, and he will likely agree: a new book fresh off the press may be as close as our sorry ilk can ever get to the moment of birth.

The newly revised and translated version of "Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local," released May 28, in Shenzhen, China. (Jock Lauterer photo)
The newly revised and translated version of “Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local,” released May 28, in Shenzhen, China. (Jock Lauterer photo)
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