One of New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan's recommendations to her paper for improving its coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is "Stop straining for symmetry." It's advice she seems reluctant to take herself.
Nate Silver's failure to fit in with the culture of the New York Times illustrates the difference between objectivity and "objectivity"–the latter being the belief that it's impossible to know what's real, so all you can do is report the claims made by various (powerful) people.
In her take on Michael Hastings' obit, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan said that while "the obituary…is not factually inaccurate, as far as I can tell," she said it "seems to diminish his work's legitimacy."
The new public editor at the New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, dedicated her first column (9/16/12) to factchecking and false balance. Her conclusion: It ought to go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway: Journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers know what to believe, to help them make their way through complicated and contentious subjects. The more news organizations can state established truths and stand by them, the better off the readership–and the democracy–will be. It's good news that Sullivan thinks this way–and an improvement over her predecessor's much-maligned column […]