The Press: New Man in Chattanooga

The best-known Southern newspapers are shaped in the image of their editors—the Arkansas Gazette of Harry Ashmore, the Atlanta Constitution of Ralph McGill, the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times of Mississippi's Hodding Carter. But to many Southern intellectuals, the finest paper in the region is built not around a man, but on a moderate, conscientious approach to racial integration and the self-declared aim "to give the news impartially, without fear or favor." The paper: the Chattanooga Daily Times.

Last week the Daily Times got a new managing editor: studious, gregarious John Nicholas Popham, 47, for the past eleven years the New York Times's chief...