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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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publisher, Mr. Dryfoos - and, as a matter of fact, to Mr. Sulzberger before him - and to the present publisher. I've expressed it repeatedly to the managing editor. I am constantly sending notes of protest about it. I suppose it's become almost a joke at the office that I am so emphatic about trying to keep editorial opinion out of the news columns. I think the Times' standards on this have declined, I regret to say, in recent years.

It's interesting how newspaper history goes. If you know something about newspaper history, it's true that seventy-five years ago news stories were highly editorial, as a matter of course, as they are even on the continent of Europe today, and this was normal in a newspaper of seventy-five years ago, and all through, really, the nineteenth century. But then there came the idea, which Mr. Ochs really, I guess, did as much as anyone else to promote, an idea that I think is absolutely essential to a good newspaper, to separate editorial opinion from news presentation as sharply as it's humanly possible to do. This is the tradition I was brought up in, and I believe in it fundamentally. I feel that the editorial page ought to be a strong, opinionated-I hope opinions based on facts, but nevertheless- editorial page. I feel that the news columns should have no editorial opinion in them, and I feel that good editing and careful editing can eliminate practically all editorial opinion from the news columns. I don't think we have done this job properly in recent years, and I think we've gotten sloppier and sloppier about it, and not only through carelessness but actually a changing attitude.

A new element has come into this in recent years with the complexity of news and is called interpretation. I recognize fully the need for interpretive material in the news column; I think there's a valid place for this. But interpretation is different from opinion too, and so I

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