Something to keep in mind...

Discussion in 'Media' started by Synthaholic, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Synthaholic
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    Synthaholic Platinum Member

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    There Is No Such Thing as 'the Times'

    By James Fallows

    Sep 17 2012, 12:38 PM ET In response to this item yesterday, about mainstream media outlets figuring out how to cope with "post-truth politics," a writer who is a regular contributor to the New York Times and other publications (and is not a NYT staff member) writes with this elaboration:


    I enjoyed your piece on the Times' new public editor, and agreed with most of it, but I think there's an underlying fallacy to it, slight but significant, which your readers should understand:

    There's no such thing as 'the Times', really. It is, of course, an enormous organization operating on very tight deadlines; there are hundreds of reporters and editors, each of whom acts at least somewhat autonomously, and often in a mad scramble to get the news out on time. The paper -- like any news organization -- has its standards, of course, but they're flexible and not always easy to enforce, and in many cases it's up to individual actors, faced with specific circumstances, to decide how to phrase things. A certain amount of oversight takes place, but a certain amount of freedom is granted, as well.

    I mention this because I think readers, and people in general, often think of the Times --or the Washington Post, or CBS, or CNN -- as a monolithic entity, a single organism with a consistent approach to news-gathering. I suspect the Times likes to think of itself that way, too. But in my experience, this simply isn't true: reporters are given leeway; editors change things, or they don't; something gets rewritten by the desk at the last minute, because space is short or a new piece of information came in; phrases are added or dropped. I wouldn't describe it as arbitrary, but I think it's more contingent, messy, and catch-as-catch-can than most readers realize.

    I like reading the Public Editor columns, but I think they're a bit misleading. They imply that there's a 'Times policy', and often there is, -- but often there isn't, or it's imperfectly enforced. We would all be better off, I think, if readers understood that the paper, like all papers, is a large and contentious organization, made up of strong-willed and opinionated people in a half-mad dash to produce a fair account of what's going on. It's message, methods, style and results are nowhere near as controlled as, say, a corporation, or a political campaign. The paper's editors try, and I'm glad they try; but they seldom succeed, and I'm glad they seldom succeed.

    *snip*
     
  2. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. While this organism may have Medusa like characteristics, " the Times --or the Washington Post, or CBS, or CNN -" have a single editorial view.



    2. "Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. (born September 22, 1951) became the publisher of The New York Times in 1992 and chairman of the board of its owner, The New York Times Company, in 1997, succeeding his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger. Sulzberger is sometimes referred to as "Pinch,"..."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ochs_Sulzberger,_Jr.



    3. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. ['Pinch'] is Publisher of The New York Times newspaper and Chairman of The New York Times Company, a conglomerate that owns the Times and many other media entities, including the Boston Globe.

    Punch Sulzberger asked his activist son: “If an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, which would you like to see get shot?” “I would want to see the American get shot,” replied the young man. “It's the other guy's country.”
    Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. - Discover the Networks


    The above should tell you all you need to know about the philosophical direction the noted media take.
     
  3. Synthaholic
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    Synthaholic Platinum Member

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    Swoooooosh!!!

    Right over PoliticalChic's head. :lol:
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Spell it out.
     
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