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How to be an editor. Or not.

Home Tomorrow's Business How to be an editor. Or not.

So there are three basic models for editorship when it comes to interacting with powerful people. The same three apply to City Editors too, I think.

They are points on a scale rather than absolutes, and I’ve sometimes been surprised when an editor I definitely think is in camp number one suddenly goes, screw it, and leaps head first into camp three.

They are:

1) Suck up to all the important people you meet. Become their actual friends. Write only nice things about them. Keep an eagle eye on any reporters who might have ideas of their own and be inclined to sarcasm. The idea, journalistically, is that these powerful people will give you stories. They might mostly be about other powerful people who are also your friends, which is where it tends to break down, but that’s the plan.

2) Pretend to be nice to important people. Act like you care about them. Gather as much information as possible. When the time comes, knife them in the side, back and front. Let time pass. Pretend to be nice to them again.

3) Refuse to meet any important or powerful people whatsoever. Do not ever even take or return their phone calls. Certainly don’t meet them for lunch. Let your reporters form the personal relationships so that you are without hesitation when the chance arrives to properly turn them over. Show no mercy.

The usual prize* is available for the flaks who guess which editors fall into which camp.


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