May 1, 1969
Naturally, when I got your letter I put
everything aside -- wars, famine, floods, campus uprisings, political battles, decentralization, even scandal
-- and hastened to my little typewriter.
E----, you can't imagine what an Executive Editor does. I am exhausted when I think of it. There isn't enough stationery here for
me to put it all down,
Editor, at least on this newspaper, is charged with full responsibility for the news coverage and features in the paper. He
has nothing whatever to do with the editorial page or the newspaper's policies. He gets out
of bed very early in the morning, even before sun-up sometimes, and he makes his way to the City Room of the paper and
proceeds to go over each and everything -- except editorials --
which is going into that day's editions. He reads this mass of material either in carbon copies or proofs and he goes over the judgments made by his associates about the relative display one story or another might be worth in the layout
for that edition. He questions anything he has any doubt about, he discards any stories
which he may feel are beneath notice, he considers questions of libel and good taste.
He goes over all the headlines. He reads the columns going into that day's paper, too, just
so that he knows what the heavier thinkers are saying. He takes a quick look at the
pictures which have been assembled during the night and selects one for the front page. Often, he writes the front page headlines
I hope this will give you an idea.
know you wrote to our Managing Editor too, but you don't need a reply from him because
his work in general overlaps that of the Executive Editor: that is, he does
many of the same things.