Sunday, January 22, 2012

Helping the NY Times Become ‘Truth Vigilantes’

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.
Arthur Brisbane, public editor of the New York Times

Brisbane, ever mindful of his readers and the obligation that the New York Times feels towards them, is concerned about
readers who, fed up with the distortions and evasions that are common in public life, look to The Times to set the record straight. They worry less about reporters imposing their judgment on what is false and what is true.
Enter David Gerstman, who offers Mr. Brisbane some much-needed support.

Gerstman begins Helping the NY Times Become ‘Truth Vigilantes’ by pointing out the discrepancies in New York Times's own reporting:

Brisbane’s column got me thinking: could being a “truth vigilante” actually improve the New York Times? I believe so.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in everything published in the Times, but I am pretty familiar with its coverage of the Middle East. So if Brisbane would like examples of how his employer could “set the record straight” in a way that is “objective and fair,” here are examples related to news stories that appeared in the Times is 2011.
Read the whole thing.

Focusing on the New York Times reporting of:

  • The purported death of an Arab Palestinian protester from tear gas
  • Abbas' condemnation of the murder of the Fogel family
  • The New York Times claim Israeli's saw Netanyahu as a diplomatic failure on his return from the US last year

David Gerstman illustrates that Brisbane and the New York Times need to realize: "Truth Vigilantism" begins at home.

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