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January 13, 2012

Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?

The New York Times
by Arthur S. Brisbane

God, these guys just don't get it, do they?

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.


NoLandGrab: No, Times, you should just keep your heads firmly up your arses, regurgitate the b.s. spewed by your "development partner," devote a single graf to an "opponent" or "critic," and call it a day. Jeezus.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, The Times, the "Truth Vigilante" uproar, and the journalism of verification

Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante? wrote New York Times ombudsman Arthur Brisbane, occasioning nearly universal shouts of "yes," including from his colleagues, all dissected interestingly by Jay Rosen on his Press Think blog.

No one mentioned, as far as I can tell, former executive editor Bill Keller's useful formulation of "the journalism of verification," which is the newspaper's job. And while most of the discussion today concerned political coverage, we should remember that the Times has fallen short so many times regarding Atlantic Yards, such as:

Atlantic Yards Report, Rethinking the role of news ombudsman: "aggregate, curate, debate" (which would mean linking to sites like AYR)

Journalist and author Dan Gillmor, in What a 21st Century News Ombudsman Should Do: Aggregate, Curate, Debate, responds to the Times's "Truth Vigilante" dust-up and a Washington Post column by commenting:

These pieces highlighted how strange the ombudsman’s job has become, and why I think it needs to be updated in this networked age. Here’s how I’d change it, and I hope both of these men will consider at least adding some of these ideas to their portfolio. There would be two main approaches: aggregation and conversation.

Posted by eric at January 13, 2012 12:24 AM