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All About the Story

News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post

Leonard Downie, Jr.



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08 December 2020
In 1964, at age 22, Len Downie joined the Washington Post as an intern. He became a pioneering investigative reporter, news editor, foreign correspondent, and managing editor, before succeeding the legendary Ben Bradlee as executive editor.

As Downie writes, he was quite different from Bradlee. But he played an equally important role over more than four decades in making The Post one of the world's leading news organizations. Among the stories he was involved with were the historic Watergate story, the investigation and impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the Unabomber (who threatened to kill more people if The Post did not publish his 'manifesto'); the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and many national security stories published in defiance of government wishes. He managed The Post's ascendency to the pinnacle of influence, circulation and profitability, before being confronted by the digital transformation of the news media that threatened to put the Post out of business.

In a dangerous age of fake news and media manipulation, Downie's judgment, fairness, and commitment to truth will inspire anyone who wants to know how journalism at its best, works.
By:   Leonard Downie Jr.
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   700g
ISBN:   9781541742284
ISBN 10:   1541742281
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   08 December 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Leonard Downie, Jr. was the Executive Editor of the Washington Post . Downie has spent his entire journalistic career at the paper, where he started as a summer intern reporter in 1965. He soon became a prize-winning investigative reporter on the paper's Metro desk. In 1974, when he was Assistant Managing Editor for Metropolitan News, Downie oversaw the paper's Watergate coverage. Downie has also served as the Post 's London correspondent before becoming National Editor in 1982. In 1984, he was named Managing Editor of the Washington Post , a position he held until 1991, when he was named Executive Editor. Under Downie's leadership, the paper won 25 Pulitzer Prizes including three Pulitzer gold medals for public service.

Reviews for All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post

One of the great editors in the history of American journalism tells his own compelling story of rising to the top of The Washington Post newsroom. --Kevin Merida, Editor-in-Chief of ESPN's The Undefeated and former Managing Editor of The Washington Post More than any journalist I've known, Len Downie is what his title states - All About the Story. His book teems with captivating chapters taking us inside the Washington Post as it covers the most important events of our times. But above all else, it serves as a powerful testament to the essential role a free press plays in the American democracy. --David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Leonard Downie's colorful and insightful account of a career dedicated to producing honest journalism is exactly what we need in this era when fury and fiction have distorted our politics and even our response to pandemics. His stories provide a great guide not only for a return to better journalism but also to a better society. --Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs As befitting a master editor, Downie's memoir is both tight and revelatory....At a time when the press is under relentless attack from the Trump administration, Downie's engrossing memoir reminds readers of the personal sacrifices journalists make in pursuit of a story and the rigorous criteria they apply in delivering the news. --Booklist An absorbing career memoir and an illuminating history of the Post's news coverage during the last 50 years. --Kirkus Starred Review Len Downie, the tough and fearless editor of the legendary Washington Post, has always had the scoop and now takes us inside the tense showdowns at the CIA and Oval Office to give us the story behind those stories, many of which changed history. At a moment when autocrats around the world including inside the U.S. are trying to destroy the credibility of the mainstream media, Downie's account is an indispensable and eye-opening defense of the truth, and the journalists who tell it. --Jane Mayer, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Dark Money Elegiac.... At a time when the news media itself is increasingly becoming part of the story, this insider take on newsroom culture resonates. --Publishers Weekly Superb...Downie shows the vital role a free press plays in our democracy. His splendid recounting should be of interest to everyone. --Bookpage superb...Downie shows the vital role a free press plays in our democracy. His splendid recounting should be of interest to everyone. --Bookpage Downie's memoir could be characterized as a series of war stories best enjoyed by journalists, past and present. This would be a disservice to history lovers who will relish his behind-the-scenes narratives of some of the world's biggest stories during his 44 years at The Washington Post.... All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and The Washington Post is written with history in mind, and Downie's role in bringing it to life for readers. From his account of Watergate and his riveting timeline of the Jonestown massacre to his confrontations with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Downie's book is a celebration of what strong journalism can accomplish. It is also a cautionary tale about what's at stake if our financially imperiled profession does not find new ways to remain viable. Plus, it's full of great gossip. --Connie Schultz, Washington Post Downie is extremely well-placed to offer a history of the last 50 years in news, from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., to Watergate, the Jonestown Massacre, Bill Clinton's impeachment, the Unabomber, the Sept. 11 attacks, and the invasion of Iraq. But All About the Story also functions as a primer on journalistic ethics... All About the Story has obvious value for anyone looking to understand the ways news has changed in the past five decades. --NPR.org

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