Religion Writer Recalls a Very Grateful New York Times

By Richard Horgan Comment

CCSULogoHow times have changed. Today, getting a personal response from a recruiter or HR person advertising an online journalism job is a modern-age miracle. But as New York Times religion writer Mark Oppenheimer told a group of Central Connecticut State University students Tuesday night, when he applied to the Gray Lady it was a different story.

From a write-up of the event by New Britain Herald reporter Brian M. Johnson:

After college, Oppenheimer became a writer for the Hartford Courant before his wife convinced him to apply for a job at the New York Times following the retirement of previous religion writer Peter Steinfels.

“I sent them an email saying I realize you’ve probably already filled the job but I’d like to apply,” he said. “They replied almost immediately saying ‘Thank god we heard from you, we didn’t think anyone was going to want it and we were going to drop the column.’”

Was the NYT guilty in this instance of taking the lord’s name in vain? Maybe a little. During the audience Q&A portion, Oppenheimer told an interesting story about angry comments feedback to an item about a lesbian Catholic. Read Johnson’s full item here.

Oppenheimer resides in nearby New Haven and also writes for Salon, Slate, Mother Jones and The Nation.