|Steve Manning ’96, Associated
Dennis Stern ’69, The New York Times
Dave Espo ’71, The Associated Press
Debra Auspitz ’00, Philadelphia City Paper
David Wessel ’75, The Wall Street Journal
Smarter Hiring, Dennis Stern ’69, Vice President, Human Resources, The New York Times
“When we covered Jack Coleman’s inauguration at the Haverford News we thought of that special 24- or 28-page issue in terms of New York Times coverage. We had the text of his speech ahead of time, we prepared a profile, and we had it all ready on the day of his inauguration. Our mission was to turn the News into a campus version of the Times.
“The precursor to my move away from the editorial side of things happened when I hired the first commissioned advertising sales rep for the paper. We paid him commission and gave him housing as part of the deal and he did a great job for us and helped our budget tremendously.
“After Haverford, I attended law school at NYU and pursued what was the typical path for journalists –working for the AP, then for small newspapers before moving up to larger papers. I worked in the Times’ news department for 15 years before I became vice president for human resources in 1997.
“The biggest change today is defining the competition. It used to be the crosstown paper but today it’s 24-hour cable, radio, magazines, the Internet. Our salespeople are up against an entire array of things. There are a lot of specialists now, too, which didn’t used to be the case. We were all generalists. At the Times we have a physicist, three physicians, and a host of lawyers on staff. It’s a broad definition of diversity but it’s something we really pursue here. It’s smarter hiring, hiring attuned to how a person will affect things. Four years ago we hired a guy from the Marine Corps. He did publications work there, not your typical newspaper reporting experience. We’ve come to think of that as a diversity hiring.”
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|Inside the Beltway,
Dave Espo ’71, Chief Congressional Correspondent, The Associated Press
“I’m the chief congressional correspondent for The Associated Press. Rather than commute to a newsroom every day, I have a desk in the Capitol—a building with history around every corner, yet a modern-day workplace for members of the House and Senate.
“I’ve worked for the AP since 1974, in Washington since 1977. I’ve covered mostly Congress and politics, with other assorted Washington stories in the mix. That adds up to six White House campaigns; one congressional Republican revolution; one presidential impeachment (and trial); one recount; 20 or so State of the Union addresses; one anthrax episode; and, most recently, one spectacular fall of a Senate majority leader.
“My interest in journalism and coverage of government was nourished at Haverford in an era of Vietnam and Presidents Johnson and Nixon, at a time when mistrust of authority was a growth industry. The FBI, always on the lookout for subversive activities, recruited an on-campus informant. I’m not sure how much useful information the government got, but the Bryn Mawr-Haverford College News had plenty of wonderful material once we found out.
“My first job out of Haverford was at a small daily paper in south-central Idaho, the Twin Falls Times-News—for no reason other than someone gave me a job there. I worked for the Times-News for three years, then got an AP job in Cheyenne, Wyo. After a year there, I transferred to Denver. Then-President Ford liked to ski in Colorado, and for two years in a row, I got the assignment of going to Vail to sit outside in the cold while the president skied during the day and went to cocktail parties in the evening. One day, one of our White House reporters broke his shoulder skiing, giving me the opportunity to get on the wire. I transferred to Washington a few months later.”
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|Advancing the Arts
Debate, Debra Auspitz ’00, Arts Editor, Philadelphia City Paper
“As an English major at Haverford with a minor in creative writing,
I interned with the City Paper to basically rule out journalism as a career.
I thought I’d hate it and go into teaching instead. I started working
here the day after graduation and three years later, I’m the arts
editor for an alternative weekly in a great city for the arts. I was born
and raised here and I’m a diehard fan of this city — my parents
own the Famous 4th Street Deli, so I grew up in the thick of things around
lots of Philadelphia people.
|Multimedia Man David
Wessel ’75, Deputy Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal
“Working on the News at Haverford really showed me how a paper could play a role in the community. I came from a high school that was one-third black. Haverford had far fewer black students. When they confronted the College in 1975, I became a conduit between the black students and the paper. One high point of my collegiate journalism career: a report on dining services double-charging students for meals. Barry Zubrow ’75 did all the work and wrote a report. I wrote about it for the News and got all the credit. It taught me how much mileage you could get from bringing someone’s else’s work into the public light. I still get a kick here at the Journal when we get credit for something when all we did was take the time to read some esoteric material expose it.
“I write about the economy, not so much in a ‘news sense’ but in terms of what forces are in place now and how they will affect how our kids and grandkids will live. Sometimes I wonder if this business will last long enough for me to retire from it, but we have a fairly strong franchise and a successful website which will be our future, I think. Things have changed so much in recent years that a reporter’s job is entirely different now. I do a column and respond to reader e-mail on our website.
I appear on CNBC, as do many of our reporters. Our work ends up on radio, on television, on the Internet, and in print. It’s multimedia now. The luxury of waiting for deadlines is gone. This new environment has its own tensions.
“Norm Pearlstine ’64 said that the half life of a scoop is shrinking. It’s harder to break news in tomorrow’s paper because there are so many different outlets for news. We’re much more like 24-hour journalists now, much more like wire services. The pressure now is to offer more then just a story. You need to deliver analysis. What does it mean? We have to offer something you can’t get from TV.
“There’s not a profession more appropriate for a liberal arts education than journalism. Haverford gives students confidence, it trains them to ask good questions, it fosters critical thinking. Haverford is the best journalism school there is.”
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|From Hot Lead to Computers:
Turk Pierce ’61, Assistant Wire Editor, Lancaster New Era
“I came into the newspaper business through sports. My first job was working for the NCAA Statistics Bureau in New York. I was drafted by the Army, though, and it wasn’t until I got out that I started looking for a sportswriting job. I found a paper in western Pennsylvania, Ellwood City, where they had an opening for a reporter. I was sports editor within 18 months.
“I’ve had a number of different jobs in this business over 38 years. I’ve worked for seven different papers, all of them afternoon papers. Here in Lancaster we have a unique situation with a morning paper, an afternoon paper, and a Sunday edition with three separate staffs.
“There’s been technological change in the business, obviously. I started with hot lead and pencil editing and now we’re paginating everything by computer. Amazing. Computer skills have become preeminent and editorial departments are doing it all. That kind of work and those kinds of skills are not always compatible with the editorial temperament.
“One trend I’ve noticed is that where newspapers used to report on happenings, we now report on people’s reactions to happenings. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”
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|The Haverford Connection:
Chris Lee ’89, National Staff Writer, The Washington Post
“When I was a junior, Greg Kannerstein ’63, knew I was interested in journalism and suggested I do a summer internship with John Carroll ’63 at the Lexington Herald-Leader. I liked it so much I repeated the internship the summer after I graduated. That fall I went to the Kennedy School at Harvard for a degree in public policy. When I graduated in 1991, the Herald-Leader had a hiring freeze, as did many other newspapers. I got lucky, though. The Dallas Morning News, which had offered me an internship in 1989, hired me as a full-time reporter in a suburban bureau in Plano. I was cranking out four to five stories each week, sometimes more. It was a chance to do a lot of writing quickly. After two years, I was able to move to another suburban bureau in Arlington, and a year after that, in 1994, I moved downtown, where I wrote about the Dallas school system. Bob Mong ’71 was the managing editor when I applied to the paper in 1991, although I didn’t know that until I had started the interview process. I’m sure the Haverford connection didn’t hurt my chances.
“In 1995, I moved to the City Hall bureau, where I covered city issues and the mayor. Then it was on to the Austin bureau in 1998 to cover the Texas House of Representatives, social services, and Texas A&M. I was sent to A&M when the student bonfire collapsed in 1999, killing 12 people. I spent a week covering it. On occasion I would fill in for reporters covering Bush on the 2000 presidential campaign trail, and in 2001 I moved to Washington to cover Congress in the Morning News D.C. bureau.
“Last September I moved to the Washington Post. I cover federal agencies and federal employee issues. The beat is about public policy and public management. Is government working? Should it turn to the private sector more for services? How is the Department of Homeland Security coming together? I grew up in Columbia, Md., reading the Post, so this is a real opportunity for me.
“If it weren’t for Greg Kannerstein and John Carroll, I wouldn’t be a journalist now. Everywhere I go, I run into Fords in journalism and it amazes me that people coming from such a small college are so well-prepared for this career even though there are no formal courses or a major in journalism at Haverford.”
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|Oysters in the Office:
Danielle Reed ’91, Real Estate Columnist and Writer, The Wall Street
“I always knew I’d do something with writing. I had an English professor at Haverford—a visiting professor from Malaysia—who was very inspiring. Even though I received my undergraduate degree from The American University of Paris, I spent two years at Haverford and consider it to be my alma mater. My father (Thomas A. Reed ’65) and brother (William T. Reed ’89) both went to Haverford, and my mother (Gail Simon Reed ’64 BMC) went to Bryn Mawr.
“I went to France junior year and stayed on for various reasons. After teaching English in France, I moved back to New York. I got a job with the New York Observer and started a real estate column, ‘Manhattan Transfers.’ Then, the Journal called and I spent three years covering business travel for the Weekend Journal section. I moved to the Daily News and had a real estate column for six months when the real estate writer for the Journal left. So I came back and I’ve been here ever since.
“I write the ‘Private Properties’ column, which some describe as real estate gossip, though each piece is researched and reported. I also write ‘House of the Week,’ an expanded look at upmarket homes around the country, as well as features for the section. I get fun projects. It’s service journalism and it’s fun—I don’t know too many offices where there are oysters coming in for taste testing. Our readers enjoy it. Investment bankers tell us they read the Weekend Journal section on Fridays and consider it their reward at the end of the week.”
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|Taking it Outside:
Don Sapatkin ’78, Outdoors Writer, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“I was miserable at Haverford during my junior year, cramming and procrastinating and I just took a year off to assess things; I freelanced for a local paper at home in Brooklyn. Then I interned at the Wall Street Journal and was a stringer for the New York Times. That year off was significant for me. At Haverford, I had the freedom to do that, and I came back and had a positive experience.
“I worked as a reporter for papers in Trenton, N.J., and Wilmington, Del., before I came to the Inquirer in 1987. At that time, the Inquirer was one of the best papers in the country, the best of the ‘second tier’ papers like the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Boston Globe. I was a floating editor, moving from bureau to bureau, covering for people on vacation. I did a stint on the Saturday night city desk and then moved onto the New Jersey staff before becoming editor of the Weekend section. Best job I’ve ever had. I had lots of freedom, lots of control, not feeding into a vast set of editors deciding what goes on the front page. We redesigned the entire section and I had the power to promote and push the cultural agenda a bit.
“After seven years on the Weekend section I became the health and science editor for three years before becoming the outdoors writer. Returning to reporting after 17 years as an editor has been almost like a mid-life career change – I’m having fun, much more confident and, frankly, better at it! Hunting and fishing is part of my assignment, but it’s also about hiking, scuba diving, how land is used. How policy affects outdoor activity. In Switzerland, so many more people hike and are healthier than we are. Some of that has to do with history and geography, but it also has to do with policy. They have trail systems, paths, and bike racks everywhere. It’s a different approach.”
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|The Dean: Loren Ghiglione
’63, Dean, The Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
“We had a great staff at the News when I was at Haverford. Greg Kannerstein ’63 was an important staff member, and Norm Pearlstine ’64 succeeded me as editor. There was no journalistic training, of course, no advisors. I started to invite journalists in to speak, people like A.J. Liebling from The New Yorker, Vic Navasky from The Nation, Ed Folliard of the Washington Post. They helped us think about what we were doing.
“One of my summer internships was at the Claremont (Calif.) Courier. It was such a valuable experience to see this intensely local paper getting national awards for presenting the news in a community. I really saw clearly how people played a role in the community and could change the course of discussion of the issues.
“Journalism has been my life. I’ve been editor, reporter, publisher, and owner at various points–my wife and I started or bought some 20 newspapers over the years. I was president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. I started the journalism program at Emory and was director of the Annenberg School of Journalism at USC before coming to Northwestern. One of my challenges here is to raise money to support the school and to develop programs.
“Technology has had a tremendous impact on the way we get news now. More and more people are getting their news on the Internet. NPR is more influential and the cable networks offer more and more news. The boundaries are blurring between news and entertainment. Is Larry King a journalist? Jesse Ventura is new on CNBC. Who is a journalist? People are, more and more, feeling that they’re their own journalists. They create a mix of news for themselves on the Internet, television, and radio.”
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