Dean Baquet never wanted to be an editor
A few years ago I read Michael Frayn’s Towards the End of the Morning, a novel about journalism set during the tail end of the Fleet Street heyday. It was like reading about the experiences of astronauts, totally alien from the realities of journalism in the 2010s. I get the same feeling of disconnection from this interview with Dean Baquet – not just because we come from radically different backgrounds, but because of how journalism has changed since he entered it.
Baquet’s tenure as editor has been eventful, to say the least, and there’s a lot to criticise about how the NYT has covered some of the most important stories of the past few years. But what’s interesting is how Baquet believes ‘objectivity’ works (or doesn’t) in reporting:
I feel very strongly – and I know this is not embraced by everybody – that nobody is objective. The system of “objectivity” was designed to create a system – Wesley Lowery is right when he describes that – in which the organization’s job was to make sure that whatever your perspective was it didn’t get in the way of reporting the truth. That’s not the job of every institution. But the job of the New York Times should, in the end, be to come out with the best version of the truth, with your own political opinion held in check by editors and editing.
Spotify insiders and leaked deal memos reveal a creative ‘bottleneck,’ shifting strategy, and internal tumult
I cut a section on Spotify’s internal strife from this week’s podcast because at this point we take it for granted – but this from Business Insider takes a closer look at the minutiae of that strife. Who knew that the pivot to podcasting would be so difficult?
The Washington Post takes new approach to national coverage with a ‘Democracy Desk’
The Washington Post is about to unveil a Democracy Desk to report on the front lines of battles over voting, access to the polls, and the people caught up in these fights. Good, frankly! If newspapers don’t defend democracy they’ll be destroyed by whatever replaces it.
Americans’ attention to national news lowest in four years
Fewer Americans are paying attention to national news now than at any time since early 2018. It would be hard to say without data whether this is replicated in the UK and across Europe, but it has a huge implication for how newspapers market themselves in the face of news avoidance or indifference.
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