New York Times Columnist Asks If Glenn Greenwald Is The Future of News

Pic: Glenn Greenwald (CC)

Pic: Glenn Greenwald (CC)

New York Times writer (and former editor) Bill Keller printed a series of letters exchanged between him and muckraking journalist Glenn Greenwald. It’s a little long, but well worth reading.

Via New York Times:

Dear Glenn,

I don’t think of it as reporters pretending they have no opinions. I think of it as reporters, as an occupational discipline, suspending their opinions and letting the evidence speak for itself. And it matters that this is not just an individual exercise, but an institutional discipline, with editors who are tasked to challenge writers if they have given short shrift to contrary facts or arguments readers might want to know.

The thing is, once you have publicly declared your “subjective assumptions and political values,” it’s human nature to want to defend them, and it becomes tempting to omit or minimize facts, or frame the argument, in ways that support your declared viewpoint. And some readers, knowing that you write from the left or right, will view your reporting with justified suspicion. Of course, they may do that anyway — discounting whatever they read because it appeared in the “liberal” New York Times — but I think most readers trust us more because they sense that we have done due diligence, not just made a case. (I once saw some opinion research in which Times readers were asked whether they regarded The Times as “liberal.” A majority said yes. They were then asked whether The Times was “fair.” A larger majority said yes. I guess I can live with that.)

Keep reading.

6 Comments on "New York Times Columnist Asks If Glenn Greenwald Is The Future of News"

  1. I think it’s good to have a balance between journalist-activists and traditional “objective” reporting, as long as they’re all being honest about themselves. Both are useful for different kinds of information.

  2. The future of news *should* be “a little long, but well worth reading.”

  3. BuzzCoastin | Oct 29, 2013 at 12:03 am |

    news has always been about selling advertising
    even NPR has advertisers

    publishers run the news business
    they sell the ads
    they have the clients who get pissed off by investigative journalism
    even muckraking is about selling ads
    so without ads you’re Luke at WeAreSpareChange
    & with ads your Glenn or the NYT or CNN or Fox or eBay
    it’s all the same ads, just the “news” is slanted different

  4. doodahman | Oct 29, 2013 at 11:56 am |

    the incorrect assumption is that any of the media is about “news.” It’s about narratives, and fitting everything that happens into them, even if you have to pretend it doesn’t happen to make the narrative work.

  5. What a fucking joke. [Edit: Like all the rest of the US media] the NY Times is a propaganda organ of the US corporate state. They have demonstrated this repeatedly over the years. I won’t even bother to site examples, there are too many.
    Aside from propaganda, their other function is to sell a audiences to advertisers.

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