Newspaper Editors Seem Pressed by Uncertainty

By Thomas B. Rosenstiel 1994, Los Angeles Times | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 16, 1994 | Go to article overview

Newspaper Editors Seem Pressed by Uncertainty


Thomas B. Rosenstiel 1994, Los Angeles Times, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


THE NATION'S newspaper editors, gathered in Washington for their annual convention, seemed racked by collective anxiety about nearly everything.

In their formal panel discussions and their less formal gatherings around hotel bars and lobbies, participants at the American Society of Newspaper Editors meeting expressed uncertainty about the content of their papers, about cost-cutting pressures from publishers, and about readers' opinions of the press. At a well-attended session on political correctness in the newsroom, they heard themselves criticized for being at once too liberal and too conservative - too mean and too cowardly.

"I think everyone is searching for what is the next path, the next door, for the industry," said Maggie Balough, of the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman. "The answers used to be more readily on people's tongues, and some of these old, quick solutions don't seem so helpful."

In a panel titled "Are Newspapers on the Right Track?" Eugene C. Patterson, a former editor of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, had harsh words for the very things editors have stressed at these gatherings for a decade - namely color graphics and short writing.

"The newspapers on the wrong track have a certain set of characteristics: They are trying to mimic their electronic competitors. . . . They are given to short takes instead of explanation of complex issues. . . . They tend to be too spooked by the electronic superhighway and fail to look at our strengths and their weaknesses," Patterson said.

What then, the panel moderator asked, should editors say to publishers who suggest that people - especially young people - are increasingly pressed for time and no longer read long articles.

"One of the best arguments is to look at history," argued Eugene L. Roberts, the newly appointed managing editor of The New York Times, who has criticized the industry's drift away from writing and content. "There was a big movement toward tight writing and an abhorrence of stories that jumped pages in the 1950s and 1960s," and it passed, he said.

The day President Kennedy was killed in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News had a rule that no story could jump, he pointed out. "One of the most important stories of this century occurred in their city, and they didn't jump the goddamn story! …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Newspaper Editors Seem Pressed by Uncertainty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.