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Apr. 6 2010 - 1:08 pm | 24 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

A newsman: the repository of the wisdom of the ages

Types in a 1920s typewriter

Image via Wikipedia

A post unrelated to anything at all…

I remember seeing this reprinted in The New Yorker years ago, and I’m posting because I came across it on the web, and because I find it highly amusing and wanted to be sure I could always find it in my archives. And because I hope some of you–newswomen included–find it amusing, too.

A newsman:

A newsman knows everything. He is aware not only of what goes on in the world today, but his brain is a repository of the accumulated wisdom of the ages.

He is not only handsome, but has the physical strength which enables him to perform great feats of energy. He can go for nights without sleep. He dresses well and he talks with charm. Men admire him, women adore him, tycoons and statesmen are willing to share their secrets with him.

He hates lies and meanness and sham, but he keeps his temper. He is loyal to his paper . . .

. . . and when he dies a lot of people are sorry, and some of them remember him for several days.”

- Stanley Walker, 1898-to-1962, city editor, New York Herald Tribune


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  1. collapse expand

    Love this. Makes me miss the sights and sounds of a physical newsroom — newspapers stacked high, coffee cups scattered, keyboards banging, editors yelling…

    Paul, do you know the T/S connection to the New York Herald Tribune? “News is more than what happens.”

  2. collapse expand

    Walker also wrote a couple of great books about newspapering in the days when it was a big, swaggetring thing: “City Editor” and “The Nightclub Era.” Both are long, long out of print, but turn up on Alibris and similar sites.

  3. collapse expand

    Makes me want to reach for my fedora and Speed-Graphic…

    Like Andrea, I terribly miss newsrooms. When I worked at the Daily News, the entrance halls were lined with huge repro’s of legendary front pages. You felt (you were) a part of history and something larger. The DN even had its own small airplane at one point in its history.

    I do visit the NYT but, elegant and hushed, it feels like an insurance office.

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    About Me

    Paul Raeburn is a journalist, author and blogger whose stories have appeared recently in The Huffington Post, The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, and Psychology Today, among others.

    He is the author, most recently, of Acquainted with the Night, a memoir of raising children with depression and bipolar disorder. His next book is Why Fathers Matter, to be published in 2010 by Simon & Schuster. Raeburn is a former science editor at Business Week and The Associated Press.

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