NEWSDAY: A Candid History of the Respectable Tabloid by Robert F. Keeler

NEWSDAY: A Candid History of the Respectable Tabloid

Email this review


On leave from Newsday, Keeler presents an exhaustive company history that gives mixed appraisals of editors, writers, and both sides of that paper's founding family, but steadily trumpets the excellence of Newsday itself. Keeler documents the combativeness and hands-on managing style of Newsday's first editor and ce-owner Alicia Patterson, as well as her affair with Adlai Stevenson and her heavy drinking. Anecdotes about high-level editors are not all positive, either: One insisted on keeping track of his employees' menstrual cycles, while another used the paper to promote his own real-estate investments. The overwhelmingly detailed biographical briefs on reporters and editors include family relations and full rÉsumÉs, down to a reporter's high-school job at Orbach's department store. The reporting behind some of the biggest stories of the last 50 years is also retold in detail, including the hair coloring used by one reporter who infiltrated the KKK. Keeler is less thorough when he breezes through the paper's labor disputes, and he mentions only in passing Newsday reporters' annual Christmas checks (in the 1950's) from the head of the Nassau County Republican Party's public, relations office. While many of these tales of hard-boiled newspaper men and women will amuse those curious about how news ends up on their doorsteps, Keeler's own style sometimes reverts to something like the early Newsday emphasis on ""cats, clogs and murders"" rather than the ""more readable. . .less boring"" product shaped by later editor Bill Moyers.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1990
Publisher: Arbor House/Morrow