Roosevelt House is pleased to present a discussion of the new book The Times: How the Newspaper of Record Survived Scandal, Scorn, and the Transformation of Journalism by veteran Times reporter Adam Nagourney. In this sweeping and immersive chronicle of the last four, sometimes turbulent decades of “the paper of record,” Nagourney takes readers behind the scenes as the Times navigates world-changing events, internal crises, and the existential threat of the Internet.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents and letters contained in the newspaper’s archives and the private papers of editors and reporters, The Times offers an inside look at the most pivotal years in the paper’s history—from the final years of Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger’s reign as publisher to the election of Donald Trump in November 2016. Included are the paper’s triumphs—its coverage of September 11, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and the scandal of a New York governor snared in a prostitution case. Nagourney’s book also charts the failures that threatened the paper’s standing and reputation—including discredited coverage of the war in Iraq, the subsequent resignation of journalist Judith Miller, the plagiarism scandal of reporter Jayson Blair, and the high-profile ouster of two of its executive editors.

Nagourney paints a vivid picture of a divided newsroom, its battles with the business operations side, the fight between old and new media, and rising tension between journalists who held firm to the traditional model of a print newspaper and a new generation of reporters eager to embrace the new digital world. Along the way readers meet the memorable personalities—including editors Abe Rosenthal, Max Frankel, Howell Raines, Joe Lelyveld, Bill Keller, Jill Abramson, Dean Baquet, and publishers “Punch” Sulzberger and Arthur Sulzberger Jr.—who helped shape the newspaper as we know it today.

Adam Nagourney covers national politics for The New York Times. Since joining the newspaper in 1996, he has served as Los Angeles bureau chief, West Coast cultural affairs reporter, chief national political correspondent, and chief New York political reporter. He is the co-author of Out for Good, a history of the modern gay rights movement.

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent for The New York Times and a political commentator for CNN. She joined the Times in 2015 and was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018. She is the author of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. She has twice delivered the Jack Newfield Lecture at Roosevelt House.

Adam Nagourney — The Times: How the Newspaper of Record Survived Scandal, Scorn, and the Transformation of Journalism | Posted on September 26th, 2023 | Book Discussions, Public Programs