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October 6, 2007

Gay Talese, fellow panelist, on journalistic objectivity and skepticism

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Atlantic Yards Report

In preparation for the panel discussion Tuesday on New Media, New Politics? Jane Jacobs and an Activist Press, I decided to seek out relevant tidbits written by fellow panelist Gay Talese, author of The Kingdom and the Power (1969), a history of the New York Times.

Said to be an early practioner of "New Journalism" (a term he disdains), Talese in his career has relied on saturation reporting to set scenes and deploy dialogue. He naturally felt confined by a newspaper's conventions and, in his book on the Times, raised questions about the pursuit of objectivity. (I think fairness and integrity are better goals.)
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Leaving things out

In the 1960s, the newspaper changed, and so did the Times's posture toward its once-sacred cow. The challenges today are more subtle and the problems less blatant, but they still exist. Why, exactly, has the Times failed to report on numerous issues, such as a close look at the costs and benefits of Atlantic Yards, or shown the project's astounding scale?

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Posted by amy at October 6, 2007 11:55 AM