Sunday, September 5, 2010

NYTimes "Public Editor": Opnion v. news v. opiniony new v. newsy opinion

My journalism class got cancelled this term. Not a great thing. But, sometimes teaching journalism feels like shooting at a moving target. Can be fun; can be frustrating.

 From the New York Times public editor.

WHAT some call opinion, others call interpretive journalism — a label as opaque as the practice. Call it what you will, nothing has generated more reader indignation in the past few weeks than when it has appeared on a news page.

The morphing of news has stuck in some readers’ craw for a long time, and all three of The Times’s previous public editors dealt with the issue. But I believe the phenomenon is accelerating and has the potential to redefine the newspaper.

It’s not that editors have decided to abandon the traditional virtues of objective journalism. But the Times news pages increasingly are home to “voices,” not merely reportage, as editors commission work bearing the author’s distinctive point of view. And it is happening during the clamor of the Internet age, when such voices are the only ones that seem to rise above the din.

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