One of my favorite lines from the James L. Brooks film “Broadcast News” (and I have many favorite lines from that movie), is when Aaron Altman (played by Albert Brooks) chides his colleagues for including in a news package a scene of a reporter confronting an Army general, mostly to show the journalist being tough: “Let’s not forget, we’re the real story. Not them.”
I think of that whenever someone wants to do a story about a journalist, especially me. I’m much better at telling other people’s stories than telling my own. So I was a bit shy when Medill asked to profile me for its quarterly magazine. There’s a very good cover story/profile of NYTimes public editor Margaret Sullivan (a Medill alum). A few pages in, you’ll see yours truly.
I’m grateful to Shannon Shelton Miller for her careful reporting, and to Ray Whitehouse for his patience in making the portrait for the story. [I’m also much more comfortable behind the lens of a camera than I am sitting in front of one.] Though, looking at the image, I should have taken the advice offered in another scene from Broadcast News, when William Hurt as anchor Tom Granick says to Brooks’ Altman: “When you sit down — sit on your jacket a little — that gives you a good line.”
Too late now.
At least I’m not sweating like Albert Brooks did in his first anchor appearance in that film.