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Katharine Graham

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-05-08 17:00:14

VOICE ONE:

I'm Shirley Griffith.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Doug Johnson with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLEIN AMERICA. Today we tell about Katharine Graham. She was the ownerand publisher of the Washington Post newspaper.

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VOICE ONE:

Katharine Meyer Graham was once described as "the most powerfulwoman in America." She was not a government official or electedrepresentative. She owned and published the Washington Postnewspaper. Under her leadership, it became one of the most importantnewspapers in the country.

Katharine Meyer was born in New York City in Nineteen-Seventeen.She was the daughter of Eugene and Agnes Meyer. Her father was asuccessful investment banker. He became an important financialofficial. Her family was very rich.

Katharine grew up in large houses in New York and Washington. Herparents were often away from home, traveling and working. Katharinewas often lonely.

Katherine Meyer graduated from the University of Chicago inIllinois in Nineteen-Thirty-Eight. She got a job as a reporter for anewspaper in San Francisco, California.

VOICE TWO:

In Nineteen-Thirty-Three, Eugene Meyer had bought a failingnewspaper, The Washington Post. It was the least successful of fivenewspapers in Washington. Katharine returned to Washington and got ajob editing letters to the editor of her father's newspaper. Shemarried Philip Graham. He was a lawyer and former assistant to twoSupreme Court justices. Mister Graham soon accepted a job at hiswife's father's newspaper.


p>In Nineteen-Forty-Six, Eugene Meyer left the newspaper to becomethe first president of the World Bank. Philip Graham becamepublisher of The Washington Post.

VOICE ONE:

Mister Graham improved The Washington Post. He bought Newsweekmagazine and several television stations. He also established closeties with important political leaders. However, Mister Grahamtreated his wife badly. He made her feel unimportant. He had asexual relationship with a young reporter.

For many years, Mister Graham suffered from mental illness. Hekilled himself in Nineteen-Sixty-Three.

VOICE TWO:

Katharine Graham had four children to raise and a newspaper tooperate. At first, she was concerned only with finding a way to keepcontrol of The Washington Post until her sons were old enough tosupervise it. She was an insecure person. She did not think she hadthe ability to do an important job. She had no training in businessor experience in operating a large company. In those days, it wasunusual for a woman to be the head of a business. Women wereexpected to supervise only their homes and children.

VOICE ONE:

Katharine Graham met with officials of The Post. She told themthe paper would not be sold. She said it would remain in her family.She was elected president of The Washington Post Company. She had noidea about how to operate a newspaper. So she decided to learn. Shebegan by hiring Benjamin Bradlee. He later became chief editor.Mister Bradlee improved the newspaper. He hired excellent reportersand editors. They began doing important investigative reporting. InNineteen-Sixty-Nine, Missus Graham became publisher as well aspresident of The Washington Post Company.

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VOICE TWO:

In the Nineteen-Seventies, the Washington Post became famousaround the world because of two major successes. InNineteen-Seventy-One, The New York Times newspaper startedpublishing secret government documents about American involvement inthe Vietnam War. They were known as the Pentagon Papers. Theadministration of President Richard Nixon appealed to the courts tostop the publication of the documents. It said publication wouldendanger national security. A temporary restraining order from afederal judge stopped The New York Times from publishing thedocuments.

VOICE ONE:

Washington Post reporters also got a copy of the Pentagon Papers.They also wanted to publish the documents. Missus Graham had todecide if the paper would publish the stories and risk possiblepunishment by the government. The newspaper's lawyers advised hernot to publish them. Yet she decided to publish the Pentagon Papersin the Washington Post. The Supreme Court finally decided the issue.They ruled against the judge's order restraining publication of thePentagon Papers. That ruling was considered a major success forfreedom of the press.

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VOICE TWO:

The next year, in Nineteen-Seventy-Two, the Washington Post hadanother major success reporting on a different story. Five men hadbeen arrested after breaking into the headquarters of the DemocraticNational Committee in the Watergate office building. Reporters atThe Post began an intense investigation of the break-in. The Postpublished a series of stories by two young reporters, Carl Bernsteinand Bob Woodward.

After much investigation, the reporters linked the Watergatebreak-in to President Nixon and his top advisers. Their storiesproved that the Nixon administration directed a plot. Its goals wereto illegally gather intelligence on the Democratic Party anddishonor opponents of the president.

VOICE ONE:

Missus Graham supported her reporters and editors through thelong Watergate investigation. The Post published the stories eventhough government officials threatened Missus Graham and hercompany. The newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for publicservice in Nineteen-Seventy-Three for its Watergate reporting. Thenext year, President Nixon resigned from office.

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VOICE TWO:

Katharine Graham was recognized around the world as an importantleader in newspaper publishing. She was the first woman to head amajor American company. She successfully expanded The WashingtonPost Company to include newspaper, magazine, broadcast and cablecompanies.

Katharine Graham played an important role in supporting women inthe workforce. More women were employed at The Post and at Newsweekmagazine. Missus Graham also was active in groups seeking to improvepublic education in Washington. She traveled around the country tomake many public speeches about news media issues. She also traveledaround the world to meet with foreign leaders.

VOICE ONE:

Katharine Graham was well known for having dinner parties at herhome in Washington. She invited the most important people in thecity. An invitation to one of her parties was almost as valuable asan invitation to dinner at the White House. Missus Graham was aclose friend of American and world leaders. Her friends includedleaders in government, media, business and entertainment. Theyincluded presidents, prime ministers and princesses.

In Nineteen-Ninety-One, Donald Graham replaced his mother aspublisher and the chief official of The Washington Post Company. Atthat time, the company was valued at almost two-thousand-milliondollars.

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VOICE TWO:

When she was eighty years old, Katharine Graham wrote a bookabout her life. It was called "Personal History." She wrote aboutthe struggles and tragedies of her life as well as the successes.She wrote about how she battled her own insecurities to move from atraditional job as homemaker to a position of power. Critics praisedthe book for its honesty. The book won a Pulitzer Prize forbiography in Nineteen-Ninety-Eight. It was extremely popular.

VOICE ONE:

Katharine Graham died of head injuries three years later after afall. She was eighty-four. More than three-thousand people attendedher funeral. They included many government and business leaders.Friends of Katharine Graham said she would be remembered as a womanwho had an important influence on events in the United States andthe world. They said she used her intelligence and bravery toimprove the American media. And they said everyone who cares about afree press would greatly miss her.

Katharine Graham once wrote: "A world without newspapers wouldnot be the same kind of world." After her death, the employees ofThe Washington Post wrote: "A world without Katharine Graham willnot be the same at all."

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VOICE TWO:

This Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. Itwas produced by Caty Weaver. I'm Doug Johnson.

VOICE ONE:

And I'm Shirley Griffith. Join us again next week for anotherPEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of America.