October 13, 2017

"If someone were to look at your entire social media feed, including links and retweets, would they have doubts about your ability to cover news events in a fair and impartial way?"

From "Social Media Guidelines for The Times Newsroom" (NYT).

Also:
• In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.

• Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively.

55 comments:

rhhardin said...

Objectivity has always been my watchword.

Bob Boyd said...

"...on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively."

A pretty big loophole.

mccullough said...

Reporters need to be skeptical of their own biases. And quit focusing on personalities.

EDH said...

Project Veritas's latest expose about the NYT seems to have been eclipsed by the HW scandal.

Maybe that's (among the reasons) why the NYT broke the story?

Virgil Hilts said...

To elaborate, don't (i) "do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation" which is that of a willing hand maiden of the Democratic party, or (ii) appear "to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively," which of course do not include political issue which we will continue to seek to cover from a biased left-wing perspective.

Earnest Prole said...

You can cover the news objectively and you can cover the news subjectively, but you need to choose one or the other and stick with it. Some of the best reporting, left and right, comes from people who are willing to clearly declare their biases up front. What doesn't work is pretending to cover the news objectively in the newspaper, only to reveal your true biases in your twitter feed.

lgv said...

"Please hide your liberal/progressive bias so we can pretend to cover issues objectively. We are working together for the same goal. This will help our cause. Don't worry, anyone who knows you will know where you really stand. No need to signal. Plausible deniability isn't just for politicians."

Nonapod said...

Do people actually believe that the journalists at Times will really follow these guidelines? It's just seems like lip service. I mean, the idea of the word "objectivity" and the name "New York Times" being associated seems bizarre to me. In general and overall I've never known the Times to be fair and objective. I mean, they'll occasionally have an individual article that's pretty fair and objective, but those seems to be exceptions not rules. Hasn't the NYT always been the unofficial house organ for the Democrat Party, targeting almost exclusively rich white liberal culture?

tolkein said...

Excuse me, but when does The New York Times seek to cover stories objectively?

rehajm said...

They've all given themselves permission to be exempt from the normal rules of journalism in covering Trump. Why should some silly rule in a self imposed handbook apply when Trump is such a threat? Since democracy is such a threat?

rcocean said...

Translation: It hurts our agenda of helping the DNC if the NYT appears *too* partisan. So, hide that you're all Left-wingers who hate Trump and Republicans.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Too late. They have exposed themselves. They are now trying to pretend and backpedal.....nope. Not working.

rcocean said...

The idea is to write stories attacking Republicans and helping Democrats while not being too blatant about your left-wing bias.

You want to write for deniability. Plus a lot of stupid people can't pick up the bias unless you're really, really, up front about it.

But the whole con game can't work if your reporters go on Social Media and call Republicans "Nazis" every other day.

AJ Lynch said...

I'm on twitter and it's amazing to see how NYT'ers like Maggie Haberman and her followers and her followees consistently bash Trump and Repubs. And the followers and followees are mostly beta boy Pajama Boys. It must be a job requirement of MSM.

Yancey Ward said...

I read that earlier from Drudge. It basically is telling its reporters to bury all the evidence of their biases. I hope the reporters push back against this- they would have my full support since I would much rather have such things on full public display, not hidden away by a corporate policy.

tim in vermont said...

They can pretend all they want that the emperor is wearing clothes. We all know they are naked.

William said...

If you politicize everything, then political biases become more blatant and annoying.

MadisonMan said...

Why yes, yes they would. Thanks for asking!

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, thanks for today's laugh.

Birches said...

I follow a NYT writer for her ISIS coverage, but I am constantly annoyed that her likes come up on my feed. Such strawmen.

Scott McGlasson said...

Objectivity is just another tool of the oppressive patriarchy. I've got that on good authority from five different Women's Studies majors.

Nonapod said...

How many readers would the Times actually lose if they just came straight out and said "Here's the honest truth: We hate Trump and we intend to do everything in our power to remove him from office." My guess is they'd lose practically zero readers. Or am I being too naive? Do regular NYT subscribers lack awareness? Would they actually feel they couldn't pay money to the NYT anymore in the wake of such a revelation?

What is with all this theater... this "Hey look, we're really trying to be objective!" nonsense? I guess they think it matters to their readership, but I don't see how it does.

Fernandinande said...

In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions

...those should be reserved to the paper so they can keep their stories straight.

rehajm said...

How many readers would the Times actually lose if they just came straight out and said "Here's the honest truth: We hate Trump and we intend to do everything in our power to remove him from office."

Trump haters desperately need their daily hate and a reliable place to get it. I'd wager on a net gain.

In that same vain I never understood why Bill Clinton didn't just come out early with a Hell yah I boinked her! and been done with it all.

gg6 said...

Absolutely hilarious!

John Borell said...

Hahahahahahaha!

As opposed to the doubts they would have about your ability to cover news events in a fair and impartial way when they read your reporting?

Hari said...

Trump NFL's the NYT into submission.

gg6 said...

I wonder how many of the admiring 'Reader Comments' @NYT are from Roger Goodell's wife?

Gabriel said...

@tolkein:Excuse me, but when does The New York Times seek to cover stories objectively?

When they cover them with a pillow until they stop moving. That's pretty objective.

holdfast said...

We want our journalists to feel that they can use social media to experiment with voice, framing and reporting styles — particularly when such experiments lead to new types of storytelling on The Times’s platforms

So they are storytelling now? I thought they were supposed to be reporting, and sometimes publishing editorial comment.

I don't know about others, but when I was a kid, my Dad might ask if I "was telling stories" - which was his old-fashioned way of asking if I was lying, without directly calling me a liar.

MayBee said...

I would prefer they just let things out in the open. They think they are hiding their opinions, but they aren't.

D.E. Cloutier said...

In the 1960s and early 1970s, I was a newspaper reporter for seven years.

I had no problem remaining objective. I didn't vote. I didn't read the editorial pages. I knew and liked Hubert Humphrey and Barry Goldwater. I was a pragmatist. Whatever worked was fine with me.

At the beginning of my years in the newspaper business, one of my mentors told me: "You are the eyes and ears of the reader, not the brain. See. Hear. Don't think."

That was pretty good advice.

Sebastian said...

"• In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.

• Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively."

Now, that's funny. Made me laugh out loud, anyway. Thanks, New York Times!

Scott Gustafson said...

Did NYT post a list of issues that they are seeking to cover objectively? It should be pretty easy since it can't be very long.

Ambrose said...

FIFY


"If someone KNEW THAT YOU WERE A NYT REPORTER would they have doubts about your ability to cover news events in a fair and impartial way?"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If someone were to look at your entire social media feed, including links and retweets, would they have doubts about your ability to cover news events in a fair and impartial way?

I think looking at their entire social media feed would remove all doubts.

Caroline Walker said...

I just spit out my coffee.

robother said...

As the Grey Lady bends over to straighten her laces, she seems unaware of that her tramp stamp is gleaming in the moon.

James Pawlak said...

The "guiding light" of the NYT is V.I. Lenin to whom this maxim is attributed: "Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth".

Sam L. said...

"• Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively." Objectively!! I laugh in disbelief!

tim in vermont said...

""same vain I never understood why Bill Clinton didn't just come out early with a Hell yah I boinked her! and been done with it all."

If it were only a few, and never involved coercion maybe.

MaxedOutMama said...


Well, uh - not precisely at 100% compliance, are they? More on the order of 98% non-compliance?

In any case, doesn't this only affect the outward, and not the inward? Isn't this an attempt to disguise prejudice, rather than counter it?

Clyde said...

LOFL!

Birkel said...

I certainly wish the NYT success with getting the toothpaste back into the tube.

pacwest said...

TOO LATE!

Fred Drinkwater said...

The only objective journal I ever read was Aviation Safety. 10 pages of brutal reporting of the details of failures of the journal's own subscribers and the systems & equipment they use.
The ordinary media folk know zip about objective reporting, nor do they want to know. Knowledge would just get in their way.

Earnest Prole said...

I certainly wish the NYT success with getting the toothpaste back into the tube.

Well said.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I think perhaps the most valuable periodical I have read, besides the old Scientific American, was Aerospace America. Sadly I only got it in high school and maybe College. I can't seem to find it online any libraries.

Luke Lea said...

The horse is out of the barn.

JAORE said...

"...issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively."

Perhaps they should publish a list of those issues.

It would not take much ink.

Yancey Ward said...

Here is the list of things The NYTimes is attempting to cover objectively:





Michael said...

Instead of removing the doubt, the NYT is removing the evidence.

Lucien said...

Many journalists sought for years to hide their biases behind a veneer of objectivity. But then came Trump. It was so liberating for them. They knew he couldn't, just couldn't, win, and he was clearly a deplorable pussy-grabber whom everyone knew was simultaneaously a reality TV, star and billionaire, and idiot. No really, everybody in journalistic circles knew this. So they came out of the closet and let their true colors fly. Slate even published pieces on whether it was moral to cover the elections and Secretary Clinton's problems fairly, since there was such a danger of "false equivalence" in the event of fair reporting.

But then Trump actually won -- and the journalists were caught out in the open with their true colors flying. So they became part of the "resistance". They would bravely continue their one-sided reporting to avoid "normalizing" the President.

But now it's almost a year later and he's still the President, no matter how many times people scream "Russia!"

So, yeah, now might be a good time to start pretending that you aren't really partisan shills -- if you're journalists.

DHunter said...

It isn't like the (failing) NY Times didn't already have a social media policy that was largely being ignored. This one won't be any different, because the 27 year old reporters don't care.