06/12/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2021 17:47
'Take the reader by the hand' was the advice that an editor once gave me when I turned in a confused first draft. Well, this past year our readers needed us more than ever and we did just that.
Day after day, we took the hands of millions of Times readers and guided them through 2020. I take my hat off to the National Desk - I saw up close how you risked your own health and safety for our readers - but all of you watching this right now engaged in a monumental public service this past year that was rooted in both journalism and compassion.
And with the coronavirus Live Briefing that so many of you have put your hearts and souls into for a year and a half ago still going strong and our case counting effort still in high gear, The Times remains as reader-focused as ever.
It's worth saying that even as we celebrate this honor, we should not forget those many people who lost their lives in this pandemic - some of whose names were emblazoned on that iconic front page from when the U.S. death toll reached 100,000 - an incalculable loss, we very rightly called their passing. We paused in tribute again at 250,000 dead and at 500,000 dead and soon, sadly, we will report that 600,000 people have died of Covid in this country.
The Times made me proud this past year. We noticed that this pandemic was affecting some people more than others and splashed that story on our front page. We collaborated with local news organizations in hard-hit areas of the country, and convened a huge team to help us catalog the horrors of this virus. And we strove every day not to be so focused on numbers that we forgot the people behind them.
'Write for the history books,' I told my staff throughout the year. They did.
Let me introduce you to a few of the many, many fearless, compassionate, dogged journalists who have been on the front lines of our coverage since the very beginning. Mitch Smith and Julie Bosman are breaking bread right now on the South Side of Chicago, in the home of their editor, Monica Davey.
Monica, share with me a moment from the past year you won't forget.