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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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The Times does have a rather special flavor, and I don't want to sound corny, but it does have a philosophy very strongly implanted in the Times that people who have been working with the Times for some years have absorbed. I will always prefer to have people from the Times, but it isn't always easy to get them. I might say, I also greatly prefer to have people with reportorial experience, and obviously, with writing ability. But the people that have actually come to the board since I've been in charge in the last three years have come in so many different ways and circumstances that it is impossible for me to give you any generalization, except as to the ideal, but, of course, the way it's worked out in practice has been different, except for the very first man that came on who did meet precisely the requirements that I theoretically set myself. That was Mr. Raskin, who, of course, was a man of very long experience at the Times, and very great distinction as a reporter, and who is an excellent writer. If all the members of the Times editorial board met the general requirements as well as he does, why, I'd be a happy man, but this isn't always possible.

The next man I picked came from the outside-I think he's very good, by the way. I did look long and hard within the Times for someone with his particular qualifications. I went outside the Times, finally, and really very reluctantly, for him. He's turned out very well. He has had considerable experience and is very knowledgeable in his field.

The next man, again, the same remarks apply to him. I had to go outside the Times, because I couldn't get, within the Times, the man I wanted who met the needs. I can't just put my finger on a man and say, “You're coming to the editorial board.” It just doesn't work that way.

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