- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

The only way for a newspaper to win readers to its side is through its news and editorial columns: Do it right, and they will follow. Our fearlessness, our balance and sometimes just our sheer bullheadedness won us readers who are the most loyal I've seen in nearly 30 years in the news business.
The quality of the reporting and opinion pieces in The Washington Times and, most notably, our numerous news exclusives made us indispensable to talk radio and impossible for the liberal media to ignore.
My overriding sense here always has been a competitive one. When I first became national news editor in 1988, I told the staff that journalism was war. That was how strongly I believed not just in beating The Washington Post on a story, but in beating it over the head again and again with stories, plural. It was never good enough to have an occasional scoop. We needed to own the news landscape so that the unusual thing was when The Post had a scoop.
We've shown The Post and other news organizations in town that there is more than one side to a story. We've forced them to be more competitive than they like. We've reminded The Post, the New York Times and Associated Press, primarily, that getting it first is not just fun, but a duty in this split-second age.
Although we are outnumbered in personnel and funding compared with The Post and "the other Times," the vast majority of our foreign and national reporters are as good as or better than anyone who works for our rivals. Our metropolitan and business reporters are young but hungry. They whale the tar out of The Post day in and day out. Not to slight those who came here before, but we're at a whole different level now.
Francis B. Coombs Jr.,
managing editor

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