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October 5, 2005
J-school biggie: NYT not the best paper anymore
Even within media circles in Manhattan, the reputation of the New York Times is slipping. Amongst themselves, and now openly for the rest of us to see, prominent voices are saying that the Old Grey Lady ain't what she used to be. Fourth generation hereditary publisher "Pinch" Sulzberger is squandering the family's legacy. Rest assured, less—favored members of the Sulzberger clan are not amused. Not that they were overjoyed with Pinch to begin with: the 43% decline in the value of their shares in the last three years under Pinch's management has got to hurt.
Jay Rosen has been teaching journalism at NYU for 18 years, and was chairman of the department from 1999 to 2005. He has a list of accomplishments and credentials which make him prominent in his field. And he blogs at a site called Press Think. He does not appear in any way to be a conservative
All of which makes it at least interesting and possibly significant that he is saying and writing openly that the New York Times, emperor of the MSM, has, if not no clothes, at least some cellulite showing:
The "straw that broke the camel's back" is the Times' treatment of the Judith Miller story — one involving its own reporter. Some choice excerpts:
We've been saying a lot stronger stuff for a long time. But we don't go to the right cocktail parties, lecture future journalists, or have a wall full of plaques attesting to our journalistic chops.
Once the New York Times loses its prestige, it's just third—biggest paper in New York circulation, and one which readers in Austin, Minneapolis, or Atlanta have no particular reason to pay cash money to have plop on their driveways in a blue plastic wrap every day. I know, because it used to plop on my driveway for many years, until its bias become so blatant in my eyes.
Once the paper loses its elan, and assorted Sulzbergers begin to notice people talking at cocktail parties, glancing their way, and then falling silent or changing gears as they approach, ol' Pinch may find that the family's shares are no longer voted his way.
Just a thought. Pass it on.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Thomas Lifson 10 05 05
Clarice Feldman adds:
The New York Times seems to be paying a price for its bad reporting, as compared to the Washington Post, the paper favored by Prof. Rosen as the best in the country. At least according to this chart, via Mickey Kaus.
Mediacrity has a very good post on Rosen and the Times here.