Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times

Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times

Edwin Diamond

Language: English

Pages: 450

ISBN: 0226144720

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times

Edwin Diamond

Language: English

Pages: 450

ISBN: 0226144720

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An incisive examination of the world's most respected paper, Behind the Times tells the story of changing Timesian values and of a new era for the paper—a tale of editorial struggles, star columnists and critics, institutional self-importance, and the political and cultural favorites of the Times' owners and editors. Taking the reader inside the Times' newsrooms and executive offices, Diamond offers an expert, insider's appraisal of how the Times and its editors continue to shape coverage of major public events for over one million readers. Diamond goes behind the scenes to recount the paper's recent and much heralded plan to win larger audiences and hold on to its dominant position in the new media landscape of celebrity journalism and hundred-channel television.

"Edwin Diamond's Behind the Times sets the Paper of Record straight—a fascinating look at the people and policies, the dissension and debate behind the seemingly serene masthead of the New York Times. No newsroom is a Garden of Eden, and only the rare reporter wears a halo: the Times, not surprisingly, is an imperfect place. But Edwin Diamond is careful to note the triumph as well as the turmoil at this great American newspaper. The result is a window on the changing world of journalism today."—Dan Rather

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competition. The Times’ rediscovery of local news, sports, and Downtown styles was a direct response to the upstart Newsday. Senior Timesmen denied that they were chairbound intellectuals: Frankel played tennis, Joe Lelyveld and Arthur were runners. But they and their predecessors managed to shuffle off sports for decades, allowing the sports pages to wander around in the paper like a team forever on the road. When the Times’ market surveyors discovered that young, affluent, male New Yorkers

a measure of Arthur’s commitment to shake up the Times. The experts around the office water coolers quickly passed word that Arthur brought Moss in to create a new “7 Days-type” section. The gossip was half-right. Moss, and Tom Botkin, the chief designer of the Times, transformed Sunday Main Part 2 into Styles of the Times. But Moss was not appointed the first editor of Styles. The title went to Stephen Drucker, another thirtysomething outsider who had previously worked at Vogue. Within a year,

TV-like newspaper: colorful, quick, high on human interest. Not too long ago, Arthur and a dinner guest were discussing the future of newspapers. The guest mourned the retreat from hard news. Arthur responded lightly, calling the guest “a child of the 1950s.” The days when newspapers were riding high and didn’t worry about readership or do audience surveys—those days were finished. Print was on a new wavelength now: shorter stories, enticing writing, gossip, sex, and service journalism (fitness,

over the essential point about the new, celebratory Times. It had not only come late to the consumers’ party in the first place; once there, it looked around nervously to mimic what the others were doing. The Times was among the last major American newspapers to adjust their graphics and writing styles to a television-saturated society. In the late 1970s, an assertive young reporter named Anna Quindlen came to the Times from the New York Post. Fifteen years later Quindlen still remembered every

trip; he included Senator Bob Dole, representatives of the American Jewish community, the Nobelist Elie Wiesel, and some of Reagan’s own advisers, such as Edward Rollins. Cannon did not mention Abe Rosenthal or the New York Times. The Reagan White House did attend to the Times’ views—when they supported its own agenda. Rosenthal visited Manila in 1985 before the Marcos dictatorship was overthrown, and interviewed Corazón Aquino. According to Raymond Bonner, a former Times foreign correspondent,

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