Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512


Do you have any figures, or what is your personal belief as to what percentage of the readers of the Times read the editorials?


This is a question that it would be absolutely impossible to have any intelligent guess on. There have been some surveys and estimates made but not recently at all. I have the figures somewhere; I don't pay much attention to such figures. My recollection is that the editorial page is the most widely read -- at least people claimed that they read the editorial page -- to the greater degree in numbers of people, that is, percentage, than any page except the first page and, I think, the first page of the second section. Then I believe, as I recall, the editorial page came third. But I don't necessarily believe that the results of that survey are really accurate. People perhaps like to say that they read the editorial page because it gives them a certain intellectual self-satisfaction, and even in saying they read it, they may actually glance at it and not read it. I think to try to guess on this is a fruitless job. I might add that we haven't had any such survey in years as far as I know, in eight or ten years.

I do know that the page is read, though, by people we would like to have read it, that is, by people who are leaders in opinion and though in this country. That's the great satisfaction, rather than the numbers.


You as editor now are not doing anything specific to increase the readership of the editorials and the editorial page? I'm thinking of the map today, for instance.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help