How Ben Bradlee Re-Shaped America's Newspapers

Ben Bradlee is most famous for standing by his two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as they pursued the Watergate story that led to the resignation of President Nixon.

Bradlee did something else by his example at The Washington Post, he re-shaped newspapers across the country.

NPR’s David Folkenflik spoke to Here & Now hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson about Bradlee’s impact.

“Major regional newspapers mimicked the format he devised for the Post, with a style section devoted to features involving politics, regional personalities, celebrity and popular culture and highbrow culture alike,” Folkenflik wrote in his obituary of Bradlee.

“He also insisted on a high profile for beats on the subjects he vigorously and vulgarly called ‘SMERSH — science, medicine, education, religion and all that s***’ — the subjects from which Bradlee personally took little enjoyment.”


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit