Dean Baquet — newly crowned executive editor of the New York Times — manifests a rare combination in journalism: he can be a tough reporter and also a nice person.
We worked together, in the 1970s, as fresh-faced junior reporters for a feisty New Orleans afternoon paper, the States-Item, soon to be folded into the Times-Picayune. Dean and I shared a workspace and often a byline. He was a dogged investigative reporter, and I tagged along. Once we wrote a blockbusting story together about a sketchy businessman who, we alleged, had been involved in arson, and he promptly sued us for libel. I was panicked, but Dean was sanguine; he knew that the U.S. Attorney in New Orleans was about to indict the guy a few days later.
Dean will be a great editor because good journalism is essentially a collaborative endeavor. Dean, with his friendly smile and…
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