In 1970, an unknown thief picked Rudolph Resta's wallet from the pocket of his coat, which was hanging in a closet at the New York Times building. Forty years later, a security guard found the wallet hidden in a hole in a wall. After a series of magical coincidences, an NYT reporter tracked down Resta, gave the wallet back to him, and turned the whole affair into a charming story for NYT's City Room blog.
Joe "Private Dancer" Sexton sent out a memo to his Metro staff this morning about City Room, the new blog headed up by Times favorite son Sewell Chan. Things are going swimmingly! Except it seems that some reporters need more than a gentle nudge to start contributing: "Expect that Sewell and Patrick and Jim and Lexi and I will be reaching out to you. We need breaking news updates; supplemental material that didn't make its way into the paper; off-the-beat observations and anecdotes; links to primary sources like Web pages and PDF's that can help the reader who wants more context; and more. Sometimes it's as simple as a phone call or email to us." (Wonder how the union feels about all that?) But Sexton, unlike Rick Stengel over at Time, hasn't resorted to threatening his reporters if they don't contribute to the website. Yet. The full memo follows.