“My operating philosophy,” he recalls, “was to let the reporter write the story in his or her own fashion as long as it told the news with clarity and didn’t violate Times standards.” Self-effacement, it turned out, did not earn him promotions. Phelps ultimately moved to The Boston Globe, in the days before it was bought by the Times, and there ended his journalism career. The author provides a valuable window into the paper’s great feuds and crises (his retelling of the Times’s near-miss on Watergate is a particular treat) without making himself the center of the drama. Indeed, he frequently concedes that those who soared past him did a better job than he would have. God and the Editor is an afterthought to a long and honorable working life; the book came out as Phelps was on the cusp of ninety years old.
03:20 PM - February 25, 2010
Short reviews of books about the future of journalism and a career at the Times
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
Inside Google’s secret lab
We might deplore the practice, but posting pictures of our food online is a way to bring everyone to the table
“Every time the restaurant switched up its format, it got plenty of accompanying media coverage that let judges know they needed to return to see what was going on”
David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech as a short film
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.