Tag Archives: helen thomas

It’s Not the Same Press Anymore

This article originally ran at I Fry Mine in Butter.

Once upon a time, newspapers like the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, and so on all had reporters posted in far away places from Moscow to Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro to London. These folks were part of a press corps that wrote daily or near-daily stories and sent them back to their editors in the paper’s home town. Each paper published different articles on similar topics, because the ideas around what was “newsworthy” were generally the same, although it was common for one paper to run a story and another not to, if the first paper had confirmation of all of the details but the second one couldn’t muster them together. This is how we all came to know the concept of “getting the scoop” on the competition. Political reporters tried to form relationships with people in the political arena, so that they could get first dibs on juicy quotes or source material. I presume that a lot of backroom dealmaking popped up in this kind of relationship. Agreeing not to mention President Roosevelt’s wheelchair meant that one got to continue to sit in the White House press corps, for example. Agreeing not to mention JFK’s many affairs got them something I don’t know. But something. Read More…

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