Ben Bradlee on One of the Essential Skills of an Editor

Legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee once said that the main thing he learned from his time in the Navy was damage control. In a speech in Prague in 1990, he talked about how serving as the assistant damage control officer on the USS Philip during World War II had shaped him as a newspaperman.

“In that job, one is charged with thinking about trouble and how to handle trouble before it handles you. I’ve often thought that ability to control damage is one of the essential skills of an editor.”

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