The New York Times is not a place that lacks ambition.
Reporters scratch and claw to rise through the ranks, battling each other and their editors while fighting off hordes of outside journalists who want their job.
Brian Stelter, the boy genius who started TVNewser in college and parlayed that into a media beat gig at the grey Lady, is no exception.
As David Carr — who also covers media for the Times — says in Interview, the hire surprised some people (not the least of who was Carr himself).
But despite calling Stelter a “robot” in the new film, Page One, Carr has come to love his colleague.
“Yeah, which seemed like a pretty weird idea at the time. But he has become such an asset. We collaborate a lot. The robot part is that he moves his elbow and content comes out. While he’s chatting, he’s also tweeting and blogging — and, you know, I’ll think that’s cute, and then the next day he’ll be on the front page with a synthetic piece about the analytics of television or new media, which he also covers. If Brian wasn’t such a decent guy, I would actually slip something into his food or quietly suffocate him with a pillow.”
And look, there’s even a picture of the two of them along with Page One director Andrew Rossi. One big happy family, you know?
(Stelter posted the image at 4:30 a.m. Of course he did.)
Carr also talks about the terrifying reality of making a mistake and having to tell the paper’s editors what happened.
“I was on a streak a while back where, for three stories in a row, I picked up what are called “nonmaterial corrections” in that they didn’t affect the reader’s understanding of the story,” he says. “But I still had to go down to the business section and was asked to explain myself and why I seemed to be having trouble getting things right — and about what we could do to make sure that, going forward, I did get things right. Believe me, that got my attention.”
We can imagine why.
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