Remembering HSU Journalism Prof Maclyn McClary


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"Forgive us our trespasses; here are our press passes."

Reporter, editor, professor and wisecrack Maclyn McClary, who was a force of journalistic muster on the North Coast and beyond, died Oct. 31. He was 78.

McClary had a long newspapering career, and spent 45 years teaching eager would-be reporters at Humboldt State University up until several years ago.

The Oakland native’s obituary, published recently in the Times-Standard, details his years studying journalism at UCLA, reporting and editing in Los Angeles, and moving to Humboldt County in 1967. McClary’s work was recognized with a multitude of teaching awards, and he’s credited with helping to shape HSU’s journalism department into a popular and successful program.

Anyone who took courses with Mac got a big dose of personality; equal parts good-natured wisecracking and media wisdom. Some of McClary’s quips were recently immortalized in a Facebook post by former student Frank Vella.

"A million dollars?” He’d tell students. “That's almost as much money as you had before you bought your books!"

McClary could’ve played a newsman in a Hollywood movie — but it wasn’t just an act, he clearly cared deeply about media, history and ethics. "The papers were full of vitriolic, vituperative vilification," he’d tell his media history students.

HSU will hold a memorial for McClary sometime in the spring, details to be announced in the future. 

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