In his terrific 44-12 months career as a reporter and pinnacle editor at the Washington Post, Leonard Downie Jr. turned into deeply engaged in making essential decisions approximately what changed into taken into consideration newsworthy. He writes approximately the key roles he played in the top notch All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post.
Downie writes, “Newsrooms are not democracies. Someone ought to make very last selections approximately what goes into the newspaper, on the air, or online.” He delegated some decisions, however he became a hands-on dealing with editor and government editor, personally dealing with what went at the the front page, the accuracy and fairness of doubtlessly controversial memories and worries approximately libel or language and images that could offend readers.
Downie contributed to the coverage of dozens of historic events, inclusive of the Sep 11 terrorist attacks; the Unabomber’s chance and the decision to put up his manifesto; the Iraq War and associated countrywide protection issues, including the decision to expose the secret “black sites” in which prisoners had been despatched for interrogation; and the impeachment of President Clinton. He become the deputy metro editor in June 1972 while the Watergate scandal broke, and he recollects his dating with “what became the most famous reporting partnership in American journalism,” Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. They were an “unusual couple” however flawlessly complemented each other. When they wrote competing variations of a story, Downie would from time to time rewrite the outlet paragraph after figuring out which course the piece should go.
When it came to revealing the non-public lives of public figures, Downie concedes that he made errors on this area, and that his newsroom workforce and readers strongly disagreed with him approximately, for example, reporting at the personal lives of the Clintons. He says he become wrong, too, now not to have run more testimonies on the front page approximately the Bush administration’s rhetoric inside the run-as much as the Iraq War. He insisted on entire nonpartisanship in his paper’s news insurance, and he even stopped voting while he have become handling editor in 1984.
Downie shows the crucial role a loose press performs in our democracy. His notable recounting ought to be of hobby to everyone.