A Letter From the Publisher: May 20, 1985

The image of journalists as a hard-drinking tribe is almost wearisomely familiar. It has been reinforced in books and movies by characters from Jake Barnes, the hard-boiled news correspondent of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, to Lew Marsh, the boozing reporter that James Cagney plays in the 1951 film Come Fill the Cup. Even TV's Lou Grant & Co. regularly restored their spirits with spirits at the local hangout.

As veteran journalists know, the image was grounded in some truth. Recalls Assistant Managing Editor John Elson, who supervised this week's cover stories: "When I started out, in what was then...

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