Archives for December 2012


Something Surprising an Editor Can Learn from Ben Bradlee

By Jack Limpert

For a good close-up portrait of an editor at work, pick up Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, by Jeff Himmelman.  It’s a lively, entertaining book, and it is so intimate that some of its characters—notably Sally Quinn and Bob Woodward—are not likely to speak to the author again.

The book has lots of insights into how Bradlee made the Washington Post the nation’s hottest newspaper. Late in the book, Himmelman writes about a part of an editor’s job that doesn’t often get talked about:

What an Editor Can’t Learn from the World’s Greatest Sushi Chef

By Jack Limpert

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a charming documentary film about an 85-year-old chef who runs a Tokyo restaurant that serves the world’s best sushi. The visuals and music are wonderful to see and hear, but I couldn’t help thinking about what an editor could learn from how Jiro Ono produces such consistent high quality. I kept thinking that running a restaurant is a little like running a magazine: You’re offering something to the public that you hope they’ll enjoy and they’ll think is worth the money, and your success depends on word of mouth and repeat business.