Dean Baquet, Marty Baron, and protecting the institution

Last Tuesday, Wesley Lowery wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he wrapped the urgent media-industry conversations about diversity and coverage of race around our flawed prevailing definition of “objectivity”—a concept shaped, in large part, by white editors and reporters with the eye of the white reader in mind. (My colleague Mathew Ingram discussed Lowery’s piece and the reaction to it here.) Later the same day, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times, sat for a long-scheduled interview with Max Linsky, of the Longform podcast. It aired on Friday. Linsky had planned, initially, to talk to Baquet about the coronavirus pandemic, but asked instead about objectivity and the Lowery op-ed, which Linsky read as a rebuke of the Times’s institutional values. Baquet described the op-ed as “terrific,” and said he didn’t think that he and Lowery were far apart on the objectivity question. Baquet—who has repeatedly stressed the importance of objectivity in the past—said that he doesn’t love the term, and that he would rather frame his view of journalism around “fairness” and “independence.” The independent and fair reporter, he said, “gets on an airplane to pursue a story with an empty notebook, believing that he or she doesn’t fully know what the story is, and is going to be open to what they hear.” Linsky and Baquet spoke for around an hour and a half, and covered a lot of ground, from the Times’s business model to the challenges of managing the paper’s “star”... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2020-06-29 12:20:58 UTC ]
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