The Corner

Confession

I just remembered today: I once was an uncredited stringer for The New York Times. It was nine years ago, and I was living for the winter in St. Francisville, La. I wrote a couple of freelance stories for the Baton Rouge Advocate about a dispute involving a Yankee landlord, a venerable plantation, and a poor black Baptist congregation the landlord was trying to force off the property. The story caught fire somewhat in the national media, and I called the Times’ Atlanta bureau to see if I could interest them in it. I did a day’s worth of reporting for Peter Applebome, then the Times’ Atlanta correspondent, who flew in the next day. He spent a few hours in town, interviewed some folks, then left. He wrote a beautiful story, and used some of my material. I think the Times paid me for my stringer work. I got no byline, but didn’t expect one. With that in mind, I think Rick Bragg is getting something of a raw deal here. The Times’ policy on using uncredited stringers to supplement the reporting of its stars may be a bad one, but it predates Howell Raines or Rick Bragg.

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Elections

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Elections

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