Clarke Stallworth glowered at the room full of skeptical editors.
“I used to be really tough.” Then the former managing editor of the Birmingham (Alabama) News grinned.
“When a reporter handed me a story,” he said, beginning to pace, “I knew what was wrong with it and I fixed it! I tore it to shreds!” Stallworth picked up a copy of the local newspaper and ripped it into long, ragged strips.
“And they hated me for it!” he thundered, wadding the torn shreds of paper into a ball.
He kept grinning as he described his conversion from hard-bitten editor who “fixed” copy to hard-driving coach who helped reporters improve their own copy and, in the process, become better writers. He continued working the wad of ...