NYT’s ‘Egregious and Absurd’ Editorial Priorities

Brad Jacobson is resurrecting the “NYT Front|Back” feature of his Media Bloodhound blog (7/10/09)–spotlighting the New York Times‘ “penchant for placing a supremely unnewsworthy story on its cover while burying a vital one in its back pages”–only for “the most egregious and absurd examples.” The current example being their July 7 front-page headliner, “In Sex Film Industry, Some Long for a Real Plot“: No, this isn’t satire. It’s a cover story on our nation’s paper of record…. The article opens: The actress known as Savanna Samson once relished preparing for a role. “I couldn’t wait to get my next script,” […]


If It Bleeds, It (Sometimes) Leads

Looking beyond “the yellow-tape segments that bleed and lead local TV news” Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 6/13/09) discerns what he dubs “Media’s Love/Hate Affair with Violence”–as exemplified by the kind of violence–rarely occurring in the light of day–that gets scant media attention. With somewhere around 2 million people behind bars in the United States, all kinds of violent acts are happening in the nation’s prisons and jails. The violence that some guards inflict on prisoners is even less apt to make the news than what stressed-out prisoners do to one another. Various forms of what could be called “institutionalized violence” […]


National Papers as ‘Paparazzi-Like Birdcage Liner’

David Sirota has a new column (Creators Syndicate, 3/27/09) chronicling the nature of “newspapers’ self-inflicted blows”: First, financially strapped newspapers undermined their comparative advantage by replacing audience-attracting local exclusives with cheaper national content. Then the providers of that national content diverted resources from tough-to-report investigative journalism that builds loyal readership and into paparazzi-like birdcage liner that unconvincingly portrays politicians, CEOs and their minions as celebrities. Former journalist David Simon, “whose HBO series The Wire examined this trend,” gives Sirota the awful truth: “In place of comprehensive, complex and idiosyncratic coverage, readers of even the most serious newspapers were offered celebrity […]