Peabody award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 02:28 PM
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) There is no reporter I learned more from than Wayne Barrett.
He writes today:
"When I was asked in recent years to blog frequently, I wouldn't do it unless I had something new to tell a reader, not just a clever regurgitation of someone else's reporting. My credo has always been that the only reason readers come back to you again and again over decades is because of what you unearth for them, and that the joy of our profession is discovery, not dissertation.
"It was always the conduct that prodded me to write, not the person. And that is what I lived for, a chance to say something that revealed and mattered. To me, the story will always be the thing. It is all I can see."
Wayne, who was let go from the Voice today at 65 1/2, worked harder at reporting than anyone else I know -- again and again. I was constantly startled by what he managed to unearth, even when his subject area had already been thoroughly combed through.
In 1996, the two of us were arrested together, trying to cover a George Pataki fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria. It was my first (and only) arrest -- though for the record, Andrew Cuomo's staff once threatened to have me arrested, too.
It wasn't Wayne's first arrest.
For Wayne every closed door was just a chance to walk up a back alley. The shoe industry owes him a lot. If you haven't read his magnificent books, City for Sale, Rudy!, and Grand Illusion, your life is less rich.