NY Times Moves to ‘Ensure Alignment’ Between News and Opinion Divisions
A job ad for the NYT’s director of opinion strategy noted that a key responsibility would be “connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company.”
We’re at a point and time where trust in the mainstream media is at an all-time low. It’s been on the decline for well over a decade now. After four years of one fake news story after another about President Trump and a year of being gaslit about so-called “peaceful” Antifa/Black Lives Matter riots, Republican mistrust of the media has driven the percentages down even further.
Back in January, Axios provided a sobering look at just how bad the numbers were:
By the numbers: For the first time ever, fewer than half of all Americans have trust in traditional media, according to data from Edelman’s annual trust barometer shared exclusively with Axios. Trust in social media has hit an all-time low of 27%.
-56% of Americans agree with the statement that “Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
-58% think that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”
When Edelman re-polled Americans after the election, the figures had deteriorated even further, with 57% of Democrats trusting the media and only 18% of Republicans.
Here’s the graph they included:
From a January Axios report. Can't imagine why. https://t.co/5yXZYvMXqD pic.twitter.com/N1bCQp5POV
— Sister Toldjah Le Pew 😁 (@sistertoldjah) April 15, 2021
Even before Trump was elected, in part based on his penchant for calling out media bias, media outlets were well aware of the trust issues people had with the press. And after the 2016 election, some news organizations did a lot of virtue signaling about how they would restore trust in their industry and prove to people that Trump was wrong about them.
For example, the Washington Post added “democracy dies in darkness” to their masthead a month after his inauguration just to let people know that you could count on them to get to the bottom of every story. That is, except for the numerous instances where they either didn’t do so or went out on a story embarrassingly half-cocked):
"Democracy dies in darkness." The @washingtonpost's new masthead: pic.twitter.com/AKVQMtdOxZ
— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) February 22, 2017
Well before Trump ran for president, the New York Times was making overtures to critics to improve their tattered reputation. They added a public editor in 2003 who would be a conduit of sorts between readers and reporters. This was in the aftermath of the Jayson Blair scandal and also at a time when more people were pointing out how it was becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the op/ed departments and the various news divisions (local, national, international, etc).
But in mid-2017, they eliminated the position. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. justified it at the time by saying the situation had become outdated and that social media users had effectively become their “watchdogs” instead:
Mr. Sulzberger, in a newsroom memo, said the public editor’s role had become outdated.
“Our followers on social media and our readers across the internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be,” he wrote. “Our responsibility is to empower all of those watchdogs, and to listen to them, rather than to channel their voice through a single office.”
Four years later, and the Twitterization of the New York Times newsroom and its emphasis on catering to “woke” reporters and left-wing social media mobs with an angle to push has proved disastrous, as we’ve documented here on many occasions.
With all of that in mind, you would think that the paper would maybe put on some pretense of trying to make sure the various opinions that get churned out on the op/ed side do not bleed over to the straight news side.
But that’s not happening at all. Instead, the paper is now actively seeking a director of opinion strategy, where one of the key responsibilities will be “connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company”:
Your job, in brief, will be to:
-Collaborate with The Times’s Opinion Editor, Managing Editor and the wider Opinion leadership team in setting and executing coverage targets and operational strategy
-Help Opinion leaders shape and implement our priorities, goals and plans
-Serve as one of the key conduits connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company
-Partner closely with Opinion leadership, audience, design, video, audio, newsroom leadership and technology teams to develop and execute on the vision, strategy, and product roadmap for Opinion
-Partner with the Audience team to conduct and present analytics deep dives aimed at helping broaden the audience of Times Opinion
-As a member of the broader Newsroom Strategy and company Strategy & Development team, participate in a wide range of projects in News and across the company
The ad was the equivalent of the New York Times saying the quiet part out loud about the direction in which they were determined to go. Andrew Sullivan’s reaction pretty much summed it up:
The NYT is doubling down on critical theory. It is now the core ideology driving most of their news stories, as they abandon any pretense at even an attempt at objectivity. Notice also how their opinion section is devoted to one single worldview. https://t.co/fwV4OZwm7Y
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) April 15, 2021
And the award for the question of the week goes to:
Isn’t the separation between the two integral to journalism? Or so I’m told…
— Faysal Itani (@faysalitani) April 15, 2021
Once upon a time, it was. But clearly, the times – and “standards” – have drastically changed at American news outlets, and not for the better.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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They’re selling readers’ eyeballs to advertisers, so want to put out what interests those readers. They do best putting the same narrative in the news and in the opinion pages. The anxiety and how to live with it.
They want to shape their readers’ interest, not respond to it.
It is both. They know who their paying audience is. They know it isn’t us. And they want to keep them in the fold.
“a key responsibility would be “connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company”
Seems to me that they have had that down pat for years.
Just change the name to PRAVDA and get it over with.
We have Carlos Slim Pravda — the NYT — and Jeff Bezos Pravda — the Washington Compost…….. they have both transformed from being liberal-only news rags into being pure propaganda BS for the Dim Socialist party. Their main problem is that their news doesn’t match objective reality. They have no interest in changing that. Their goal is to transform their readers into propagandists too.
News and opinion should be aligned — but the news should drive the opinion section, not the other way around.
yes, it is highly appropriate to have an editorial section that is formed by data and reality as presented by competent news media.
Yet we all think this alignment will be the folks with opinions who will shape the news reporting to fit their preconceived notions.
Given how the news already is slanted heavily, any more alignment will lose the little credibility that they have now.
Yet the people who watch Faux News are considered the brainwashed sheeple…
FOX provides opinion too and they have a right-leaning bias.
But I have yet to see FOX blatantly alter facts to fit a preferred narrative. They’ve come close (Hannity comes to mind). If they start to alter facts – I’ll drop them.
FOX’s problem is a bit different. They are suckers for the left’s semantic games. Amazingly, I have seen Fox get fooled. Such as when FOX talking heads kept referring to the Jan 6 event as an “insurrection”. They played right into the hands of the Marxists. They did this for weeks. At the end of January, about the time it was clearly obvious that officer Sicknick was not murdered by the rioters at the Capitol on Jan 6, they stopped using the term “insurrection”. How could FOX fall for the semantic games of the left ? ? ? It’s a mystery. Now they are referring to the follower of Critical Race Theory as “the anti-racists”. WHAT ? In fact those people ARE THE ACTUAL RACISTS. FOX has to stop falling for the Marxist word games.
By the way, I still watch CNN and others – mainly to keep up on the Marxist talking points of the day.
But that’s what quite a few liberals, including those who religiously read the NYT and WaPo, think Fox News is doing: blatantly alter facts to fit a preferred narrative. Another edition of the left accusing the right of doing what the left regularly does.
Is this news? They’ve been doing this for decades.
Great news! We all know the MFM has been doing exactly this for decades. But now they’re making it their official policy. This is especially relevant now as James O’Keefe is suing Twitter and CNN for defamation. O’Keefe and his attorney point out the fact they’ve never lost a case, and cite a particularly relevant comment from a judge in a ruling that his defamation case can go forward against, ta da! The NYT.
“'[I]f a writer interjects an opinion in a news article (and will seek to claim legal protections as opinion) it stands to reason that the writer should have an obligation to alert the reader, including a court that may need to determine whether it is factor opinion, that it is opinion,’ Judge Charles Wood of the New York State Supreme Court said in his March 18, 2021 ruling.”
I love how these geniuses are cutting their own throats by making it official corporate policy to blur the lines between news and opinion. Thus allowing their “journalists” to inject opinion into new articles without alerting the readers. And thus making it easier to prove actual malice.
Why, it’s almost as if leftists *cough, cough, AOC, cough* aren’t very bright.
The situation is ironic. There are two fundamental dangers: 1) that the need to draw eyeballs will bias the selection of both news coverage and editorial opinions, and 2) that advertisers will bias those selections as well. These dangers become more acute as news organizations move from an advertiser-supported model to a non-profit, donor-supported model.
One might have thought the position would be to analyze the news and fit the opinion to the news.
No of course not! It’s to communicate the opinion agenda to the newsroom!
This incredibly ham-handed effort looks like losing, not winning.
“For example, the Washington Post added “democracy dies in darkness” to their masthead a month after his inauguration just to let people know that you could count on them to get to the bottom of every story.”
No, that’s a misreading. It was just their new Mission Statement.
So now at the NYT, when the news and opinion departments are “out of alignment,” three guesses which one will have to make the adjustment.
Pravda Times is dropping the pretense (however contrived and fallacious) that they’re engaged in journalism, and now embraces overt identification as a gleeful and slavish propaganda outlet in total service to the Dhimmi-crat Party and its agenda. This is pure arrogance and narcissism. All the media outlets are jockeying for plaudits in an orgy of self-congratulatory narcissism and virtue-signaling, to anoint themselves the most “woke.”
So they’re just making it official: The Opinion Division is going to officially put their spin on news stories, right?
The statement about their followers on social media serving as modern-day watchdogs might be more believable if social media platforms didn’t have a tendency to collude to censor those “followers” who disagree with the Times and “moderators” at the platform.