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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NY Times Drops Journalistic Standards

Wikipedia.org:

Journalists are expected to follow a stringent code of journalistic conduct that requires them to, among other things:

> Report without bias, illustrating many aspects of a conflict rather than siding with one;
> Approach researching and reporting a story with a balance between openmindedness and skepticism.
> Abstain from reporting or otherwise participating in the research and writing about a subject in which the journalist has a personal stake or bias that cannot be set aside.

The New York Times does not follow these standards anymore. Example 1:
Linda Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers the United States Supreme Court for the New York Times. As we all know, the New York Times, along with the rest of the mainstream press, is adamant about their commitment to unbiased journalism. Reporters don't have opinions, at least not opinions that impact their journalism. It's nonsense, of course, but nonsense that's maintained by the likes of the Times.

Well, Linda Greenhouse, in a recent speech at her alma mater, Radcliffe, expressed some opinions. And if she really feels this way, there's absolutely no way that it could possibly not color her reporting...
Greenhouse's surprising speech at Radcliffe even caught the attention of NPR today, which interviewed journalism experts who felt she had acted unprofessionally.

Daniel Okrent was the Times' first public editor -- or in-house journalism critic. He says he is amazed by Greenhouse's remarks.

"It's been a basic tenet of journalism ... that the reporter's ideology [has] to be suppressed and submerged, so the reader has absolute confidence that what he or she is reading is not colored by previous views," Okrent says.


Example 2, Duff Wilson, also of the New York Times.
In his latest article—a scant 292 words—Wilson again proves how the New York Times is supplying Mike Nifong with publicity money can’t buy. Unlike his previous effort, Wilson at least avoids out-and-out factual errors in his account of last Friday’s court hearing. But he slants his coverage in transparent ways.
Duff Wilson has become the main stream media cabana boy for Mike Nifong and the Duke lacrosse hoax. Wilson doesn't realize that being a journalistic cabana boy will sentence him to spending months in a Durham courtroom mopping up Nifong's lies with a wet nap.

What mainstream media organization has the highest journalistic standards? In other words who do you trust. The New York Times has vacated the field.

sources:
Honesty From A NY Times Reporter [NewsBuster.org, Sept. 26, 2006]
Critics Question Reporter's Airing of Personal Views [npr.org, Sept. 26, 2006]
Duff's Spin Machine [Durham in Wonderland, Sept. 26, 2006]

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