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Newspaperman: Inside the News Business at The Wall Street Journal Hardcover – September 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071776907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071776905
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A memoir from a man who helped transform the Wall Street Journal from a local newspaper to a global operation. When executive editor Bill Kerby and managing editor Buren McCormack hired the 21-year-old Phillips (China Behind the Mask, 1973, etc.) as a $40-per-week proofreader in 1947, daily circulation stood at 100,000. By 1991, when the author retired after serving as the publisher and CEO of Dow Jones & Co., the paper was the largest daily in the country with a circulation of around 2 million. Phillips provides insight into how one of the nation's most prominent newspapers evolved. The author was personally involved with much of the growth, after his transfer to London and then Germany to build the paper's operations in Europe, and he was integral to the development of the Wall Street Journal Asia and the paper's partnership with Japan's Nikkei index. Under his leadership in the '70s and '80s, the paper became a technological leader through its deployment of satellite communications and its embrace of digitization. Throughout the book, Phillips looks at his part in shaping the Journal's news and editorial coverage, and these sections provide insight into his highly successful methods. The author includes many anecdotes culled from his diaries, some very funny, which illustrate the variegated aspects of his life and the people who shared in it. In a short epilogue, Phillips discusses Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the Journal and its incorporation into News Corp. A well-rounded autobiography about the journalism industry and the people who shaped the news over the past 50 years." -- Library Journal "Library Journal"

About the Author

Warren H. Phillips worked at The Wall Street Journal as proofreader, copydesk hand, rewriteman, foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and Chicago editor before becoming managing editor at age thirty. He was later promoted to publisher and CEO of its parent corporation, Dow Jones & Company. Phillips has also served as President of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. He and his wife live in Bridgehampton, NY, and Palm Beach, FL.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a shame this book was not written when the author was some years younger. As it is, I view this memoir as mediocre. Its prose is stolid not vivid; too much attention is given to uninteresting family matters and the dropping of names of well-known friends; and what should be the main point of interest--The Wall Street Journal--is presented here too often as mere backdrop to a series of staffing promotions.

I think this was put together by an elderly man using memory prompts of old news clippings, social invitations, and family letters. I suggest other books on great newspapers are in print that would be of more value to the general reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yale T. Rehod on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Newspaperman is a very newsy,interesting and revealing auto biography of a reporter who becomes CEO of the paper he has worked for all his life. Warren Phillips reveals his true self and lets the reader judge. There are many interesting historical moments described about The Wall Street Journal's past and present. He reveals how he managed to wind up working there, who he interacted with along the way, the newsgathering challanges and the business challanges. He spends time describing his personal life and his wonderful family life. He talks freely about mergers and how they worked out and about his book publishing venture with his wife Barbara after retiring from Dow Jones.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve Amoia on September 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"This is the story of a lifelong love affair with journalism, of newspapers in their heyday and a boy who grew to manhood incurably intoxicated with everything about them." Warren Phillips, page xv.

The above quote was the first sentence of this intriguing, detailed and captivating memoir by a legendary journalist. This autobiography chronicles a quintessential American success story from the idyllic days of print journalism. Mr. Phillips painted a candid, captivating and self-deprecating portrait of his extraordinary journey in the newspaper business: A man who began as a proofreader in 1947 at the Wall Street Journal and ended as its publisher and CEO. From the days of Linotype to the modern Internet era, Warren Phillips navigated the newspaper business like Ferdinand Magellan on the open seas.

Format

The book is organized into four sections with a total of 33 chapters. There is also a detailed index and a helpful chronology chart that outlines various positions of protagonists from the book. The author shares detailed memories from his early life in Brooklyn and his travels around the world. Mr. Phillips writing style is as direct and informative as his numerous front-page articles. This memoir is an engaging and entertaining read replete with personal and business setbacks and triumphs.

Historical Context

Mr. Phillips was a witness to world history, significant social changes and cultural shifts during his long domestic and international career. I liked how he mixed scenes of gravitas with those of humor and candor. For example, his observation of occupied Berlin after WWII:

"Berlin was bleak, battered, and bedraggled, ruins and rubble everywhere.
Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Wilson Trivino on October 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Atlanta, Georgia- A highlight of my day is to read a crisp and fresh copy of the Wall Street Journal. Their reporting is enlightening, informative, and insightful. I hope that this current high standard is a reflection from Warren Phillips who was a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

In his book Warren Phillips, this newsman who started as a copyboy and his career span all the way the top, shares a memoir of a rich life.

His life begins in Queens with hard working immigrant folks who gave him the freedom to dream. It was at 11, after taking a tour of the New York Daily News with his father, that he decided to go into the newspaper business.

Phillips was a first hand witness to the aftermaths of War World II. He traveled all over the world and was one of the first western reporters to visit China. On interesting experience was when he presided over the first time they send via satellite a full copy of the newspaper to Europe. The feat then allowed within minutes that transmitted information be used to print a copy of the paper locally. This expanded the reach of up to date news. It seems like ancient history now with the internet, but this was a big deal then.

Phillips candidly shares his problems with mental health and how he sought treatment after being able shake the sadness. He interacted with Presidents and was up close and personal within the hall of the political conventions.

His career spanned a transformation period of the news business but the book is about the making of good journalist. After he retired from the newspaper he opened an independent publishing house seeking to put in print good books.
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