Sunday, April 9, 2006

NY Times cluelessly makes fun of itself

The new public editor of the NY Times tells us breathlessly that the paper is going to lower its standards and allow more blogs. But beware — the blog material does not go through the NY Times vaunted fact checking machinery.

…The Times has been slower than the online versions of The Washington Post and other newspapers to embrace full-fledged blogging. That cautious approach hasn't bothered me, given my conviction that serious journalism starts with the authentication and verification of information.

…The aggregation concept, which isn't unique to The Times, can have value for readers interested in business — even though much of the information hasn't gone through all The Times's journalistic filters

…While the banner of The New York Times flies at the top of each page of DealBook, much of the information there hasn't been verified or confirmed by the staff. In my mind, this is a fundamental departure from the way the rest of the paper's content –except for wire service stories — is authenticated before it is published. Readers can benefit, my review of the paper's early efforts suggests, even if those blogs don't deliver Times-quality news content.

The irony, of course, is that blogs have ripped the veil off the NY Times and other mainstream media's credibility, exposing huge mistakes, gaping errors of omission and unabashed bias.

It makes sense for the Times to go with the flow by including more blogs. But it ought to drop the sanctimonious drivel about its own layers of review. The public ain't buying it and it's largely because of the blogs.

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