Robert H. Phelps

About Robert H. Phelps

Robert Phelps is the retired editor of Nieman Reports. After leaving The New York Times, Phelps moved to The Boston Globe, from which he retired as executive editor after 11 years.

Fall 1998: Serving the Poor Introduction

By Journalist’s Trade September 15, 1998

“I think a strong argument can be made that the residents of [poorer] areas are severely disadvantaged—as citizens, as workers, as consumers—by the lack of serious coverage from television and the lack of local coverage of their neighborhoods by newspapers,” said Maxwell King former Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The reason, of course, is that the media, regardless of their claims of serving all the people, aim for the affluent, the audience that advertisers seek. It would seem, then, that if newspapers want to expand readership they would be worried about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. Read more

Summer 1998: Photojournalism Introduction

By Visual Journalism June 15, 1998

It's Just Changing With the Times In the next 50 pages Nieman Reports take stock of photojournalism today. While problems are noted, the report is positive. The articles and the photo essays by 10 Nieman Fellows demonstrate the special value of pictures to news. As noted photographer Edward Steichen summed it up at the dinner celebrating his 90th birthday in 1969: “The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself. And that is no mean function.” Read more