Tag Archives: New York Times

Trump Porn Stifles News Gathering

Trump porn stifles news gathering: Nicholas Kristof writes that the national nonstop focus on Trump takes attention away from major issues like drug overdoses and shorter life expectancy.

“The biggest Trump scandals aren’t those unfolding in Washington, but those devastating the lives of the poor and vulnerable in distant American towns,” he writes.

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Falling Short On Covering AIDS And Gays

Falling short on covering AIDS and gays: New York Times staffers find the newspaper “had a spotty record of covering the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s — and gay culture in general.”

When covered, those stories were “often buried in the back of the newspaper” and deemed not important enough for the front page.

Report For America

Report For America: Nellie Bowles updates status of nonprofit Report For America, aiming to put a thousand journalists in understaffed newsrooms by 2022.

Applicants “want to try to save democracy,” says a founder. Fellowships last one to two years and pay about $40,000.

“I felt like I needed to give something back to a place that has given a lot to me,” says one of the first reporters selected. “And journalism is the way for me to do that.”

 

 

Who Rates An Obit?

Who rates an obit? The New York Times ponders why most obituaries are still of white men.

“So why not more women and people of color on the obituary pages?” asks its obituaries editor. “Why, for that matter, not more openly gay people, or transgender people?” Obits are among the most heavily read parts of media.

 

Unplugging From The Internet

Unplugging from the internet, a questionable experiment: Dan Mitchell questions the accuracy of a New York Times columnist’s claim that he went offline, dispensing avuncular advice to his readers about the benefits of slowing down one’s news consumption.

“But he didn’t really unplug from social media at all,” writes Mitchell.

Is Buying Twitter Followers Unethical?

Is buying Twitter followers unethical?

News organizations rarely confronted that question before, writes Paul Fahi. The New York Times found the practice is widespread, and the Chicago Sun-Times suspended its movie critic for padding his follower count.

A critic says a falsified follower count is like a newspaper inflating its circulation figures.

The Internet’s Central Villain

 

The Internet’s central villain: Farhad Manjo asks what is the driving force behind much of the chaos and disrepute online?

“This isn’t that hard,” he writes. “You don’t need a crazy wall to figure it out, because the force to blame has been quietly shaping the contours of life online since just about the beginning of life online: It’s the advertising business, stupid.”

 

Quoting a Foul-Mouthed President

Journalists typically avoid reporting vulgar language, but they were tested over how far to go in repeating President Trump’s comments about “shithole countires,” or words to that effect.

Michael M. Grynbaum surveyed media and found they differed, some explicit while others nuanced. In this case, the profane quote was not incidental to the story, it was the story.

The reporting appears to follow the direction of a cultural shift to coarse language.

Observers note that Trump’s remarks follow others that forced journalists to consider their standards, like “pussy.” They also note that Trump is not the only president to use offensive language. President George W. Bush used an expletive to describe a New York Times reporter.

A generation of so ago, words like “hell” or “damn” were not seen in daily newspapers, or heard on radio or television, much less the F-word. These appear fairly commonly now.

President Lyndon Johnson often used colorful language, sometimes off-color. In 1965 Johnson ordered U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic, and reportedly said, “Those people couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if they had instructions on the heel!” The disparaging remarks could have upset U.S.-Latin American relations if they had been widely reported.

President Gerald Ford fired his agriculture secretary, Earl Butz, in 1976 for highly offensive remarks quoted in Rolling Stone Magazine about why African-Americans don’t vote Republican.

In the ongoing discussion of what to report or not, retired journalism professor Robert Buckman offers this thought from from Arthur Brisbane, American journalist, editor and author: “A newspaper is a mirror reflecting the public, a mirror more or less defective, but still a mirror.”

 

Mistake Feeds “Fake News” Charges

Brian Ross mistake feeds “fake news” charges: Vivian Wang quotes ethics expert Kathleen Culver saying “this error plays right into the hands of people who callously try to say that news media all just lie.” ABC News suspends Ross. Culver calls for wider assessment.