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Richard J. Meislin, editor of The Times and pioneer of web journalism, dies at 68

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“No one ever said, ‘You are brought back from Mexico because you are gay,'” Mr. Meislin said in an interview with Edward Alwood for the book “Straight News: Gays, Lesbians and the News Media” (1996 ). “But there was certainly a widespread belief in the newsroom that it was a factor – and not a small one.”

For his part, Mr. Rosenthal denied any link. “I knew Richard was gay when I sent him over there,” he told Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post in 1992. “Do you think I sat down and told the editor? foreign chief: “I’m sick of him being homosexual”? “

Mr. Meislin seized the opportunity presented by a return to headquarters. After a brief stint as a reporter, he became a graphic writer and worked to increase the number and sophistication of tables, diagrams and other visual representations of information.

In that capacity, he sent a prescient five-page memo in December 1993 to editor, Max Frankel, and editor, Joseph Lelyveld, arguing that little thought – and less judgment on the news – had been spent to The Times’ first consumer electronics product, @times on America Online, which was soon to debut.

“The New York Times is poised to establish an online personality, both visual and verbal,” he wrote. “How we combine the different elements of the new medium, how we make information available to readers, how we interact with them personally – all of this will make huge differences in the way we are viewed online.”

Seven months later, Mr. Lelyveld appointed him senior editor for information and technology.

Mr. Meislin was appointed editor-in-chief of The New York Times Electronic Media Company, later called New York Times Digital, in 1998; the editor of information technology in 2001; the editor-in-chief of information surveys and electoral analysis in 2003; the deputy editor for Internet publishing in 2005; and Internet publication consultant in 2008.

For several of those years, he was a leading member of The Times Gay and Lesbian Caucus, which was formed in the 1990s to ensure that LGBTQ people and issues were covered in depth in The Times and that , as employees, they were treated fairly.

In recent years, he was responsible for the graphic design and marketing of Hudson Dermatology, Dr. Uyttendaele’s group practice in the Hudson River Valley. The couple married on October 2, 2011. It was the 20th anniversary of their first meeting.

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