Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recession, Revolution and a Leaner Times

Clark Hoyt writes:

IN his autobiography “The Good Times,” Russell Baker described the Times newsroom he joined in 1954 as “comically overstaffed.” Baker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington reporter and columnist, quoted a colleague’s explanation for all the idle reporters playing bridge and working crossword puzzles:

Adolph Ochs, who bought The Times in 1896 and turned it into a colossus of journalism, “always liked to have enough people around to cover the story when the Titanic sinks,” said Meyer Berger, a legendary Times reporter.

The era of playing cards and reading Dostoyevsky while waiting for the big assignment is long gone.

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