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Veteran D.C. Journalist Nicholas Blatchford Dies

Adam Bernstein

Nicholas Blatchford, who died Feb. 1 at age 89, spent much of his career as reporter and editor at the old Washington Daily News. I seldom enjoy writing about reporters, as it tends to smack of self-regard. And mostly we talk to people and type for a living. Not the stuff of high drama.

Blatchford caught my interest for his deft handling of stories both sorrowful and comic. His 1950 account of a mother's grief weeks after her young son was run over by a truck was clear, simple and effective. Parts of it will appear in the obit scheduled to run tomorrow (Saturday).

On the other side of the spectrum was the story he wrote about the maiden issue of the Daily News, which was owned by the Scripps-Howard chain, and printed in 1971 for the Daily News's 50th-anniversary edition.

This first issue of the News carried two pieces by William Philip Sims, whom Mr. Blatchford described as "Scripps-Howard's venerable foreign correpondent who had mastered the journalistic trick of being in two places at one time.

"One dispatch was from Washington, the other from Shanghai," wrote Mr. Blatchford, adding that "the situation in Shanghai was murky."

By Adam Bernstein |  February 6, 2009; 5:09 PM ET  | Category:  Adam Bernstein
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