How She Wrote Front Page Stories in 'NYT' and 'Wash Post' On Same Day

By: Joe Strupp It is quite a big deal for any reporter to get Page One stories in both The New York Times and The Washington Post during their careers.

But how many have done so on the same day? Jo Becker has.

Although Becker has only been at the Times for less than a month, she may well have accomplished a feat few in the paper's history ever will. On Monday, she had a front page byline in both the Times and the Post.

No, the Times has not taken to running Post stories on it pages, and this was not some moonlighting effort on Becker's part. It was simply a case of coincidental timing. Still, a few eyebrows among Becker's colleagues, old and new, had to be raised when Monday's stories hit web and print.

"It was kind of crazy," said Becker, a 17-year reporter who spent seven years at the Post before moving to the Times late last month. "They just happened to run on the same day."

The Times' story, the paper's hard-hitting report on Rupert Murdoch, featured Becker co-bylined with three other writers. At the Post, meanwhile, Becker was positioned on the front page with co-writer Barton Gellman in the second story of a four-part series on Vice President Richard Cheney.

The coincidence dates back to last year when Becker was one of several scribes assigned to work on the Cheney series at the Post. As that reporting was ending in recent weeks, Becker was offered a job with the Times, where her husband, Serge Kovaleski, a former Post staffer, now works.

"When the Times offer came, I finished what I was working on and when I came here, I kind of plunged into [Murdoch reporting]," she said, noting that the Murdoch story was in the works for about three weeks. "It is just a strange circumstance."


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