Thursday, June 22, 2006

Attention to (worthless) detail

I really enjoyed the New York Observer's profile of NYT reporter Sewell Chan, the overachiever who racked up 422 bylines in a year.

He must do nothing but work. Once, he even recommended bringing a cot into the newsroom when he worked at the Washington Post. Why take the time to drive home?

And you know a reporter like that is going to sweat the small stuff. To wit:
Ms. Layton [a former co-worker at the Post] sat in the cubicle next to Mr. Chan in the newsroom. "He keeps trying to go deeper," Ms. Layton said. "He has this very strange affection for middle initials. He was always double-checking with sources, "Is that William H.W. Smith III?" He would get everyone's middle initial.
"He was obsessed with it," Ms. Layton said. "Even though it's not Post style to include it."


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