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Part:         Session:         Page of 512

Part II, Session #1
Interviewee: John B. Oakes
Interviewer: Scott Bruns
Location: New York City
Date: March 18, 1964

Q:

-- the policy of the United States abroad, and to what extent the influence of the editorials themselves has been replaced (as differentiated from supplemented by) such individual columnists as [James B.] Reston and people who seem to be emerging influences these days.

Oakes:

Well, when you first ask about the influence of the Times, I till talk about the Times as a news-gathering organization, as a newspaper. Its influence as a newspaper, as a whole, is very, very great because there isn't any newspaper, at least in the United States, that gives the breadth and depth of news coverage that the Times does. Therefore, the actual news reportage in the Times is read and digested by really a very large proportion of the people who are in the positions that deal with and concern themselves with, and that can affect, the broad movement of political action. They are, of course, directly affected by what they read. They read the Times in the first place because they know that there will be more information about any given public subject in the Times than anywhere else, in a daily newspaper, and obviously they are affected by what they read.

For example, if we cover a political problem in any country as a special story, this will naturally tend to focus attention, on the part of a lot of people who are in the policy-making level, on the problem. I don't mean merely governmental people either, although of course I



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