Home >  Archive >  2011 >  November >  16

Previous / Next

NY Times Examiner
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 10:46 AM.

A picture named mirror.gifThe Times certainly loves itself. No problem there. #

But it also cannot criticize itself. And that's a major problem. #

It's really odd that they can't do it, because the Times is really good at criticizing other forms of writing and creative work. Their book critics, movie, theater and TV critics, even their critiques of software lead their fields and are considered by many to be authoritative.  #

But when they decided to criticize themselves, through the public editor who is supposed to speak for the readers, what you end up with is apologies and explanations, never anything remotely like what the Times deserves. As a result the editorial coverage of the Times suffers.  #

Yes, I know it's about more than suffering. The Times had a responsibility to tell us the truth about the buildup to the war in Iraq, among many other things they didn't tell us the truth about. And many people died as a result. And our country turned in a very bad direction.  #

That's why I'm glad to see the blogosphere has embraced the problem with the NY Times Examiner site.  #

This morning they took apart a Bill Keller piece that I had read, and had not considered who wrote it. I accepted at face value the facts they recited. Even thought to myself a few times "Oh I didn't know that." Turns out there's a lot in the Keller piece that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.  #

When I read pieces in areas that I have expertise I can't believe how naive the Times reporters are. How they buy the bullshit they're fed without any serious challenge. How much they respect rich people. The assumption people make about getting Woodward-Bernstein level reporting is nonsense. There's a lot of self-congratulatory paper-of-record crap. In other words, if it's in the Times it must be true. Even if it's not. #

To get an idea of how bad this is, imagine developing software without bug reports from users. That's the problem they're dealing with. #

One day the Times will have the courage to devote a serious amount of their space to self-criticism. To teach the readers how to file bug reports, and actually learn how to listen to them. And their product quality will soar. Until then, we should all be following the Examiner so there's at least some balance to the reporting in the Times. #

http://www.nytexaminer.com/feed/ #

Christmas Tree
This site contributes to the scripting.com community river.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last update: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM Eastern. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:21:46 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for Scripting News

Previous / Next