Today there's an apology by the Public Editor of the NY Times, Margaret Sullivan, under the heading "Photo of Palestinian Mother Was the Wrong Choice". A brief extract:
Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the subjects I hear the most about, with readers on both sides convinced that The Times is biased. The foreign editor, Joseph Kahn, told me that reporters and editors do their utmost to present news on this topic accurately and fairly. “We are, have been and need to be very attuned to the message that images, as well as words, send to readers on one of the most delicate subjects The New York Times covers,” Mr. Kahn said. “We don’t always get it right.” The prominent use of this photograph was a case of getting it wrong. [NY Times]We were going to rip into Margaret Sullivan's apology too. But as we looked through the comments published on the page in the digital edition, we found that a reader had captured a good part of what we wanted to say. So we will quote him:
John Burke | New York | The Times has hundreds of editors -- hundreds. Yet, these "regrettable" mistakes and lapses from its supposedly strict normal standards happen every day. Some, like this one, are more egregious than others, prompting inquiries from the public editor and the need to trot out the usual hooey about how "we don't always get it right." So, just how many layers of picture editors, copy editors, foreign editors, online editors and managing editors are needed to grasp that the murderer's mother is not the story (except perhaps in Ramallah)? It's clear to everyone that only deep-seated bias could possibly account for this choice -- and many other choices. [NY Times]There's plenty more that is wrong with the original report in the NY Times (please see our critical comments) as well as a history in which we have taken part, and which has delivered to us more than the customary amount of heartache and personal pain than a great metropolitan newspaper normally dishes out. If the editors at the New York Times could be persuaded to have their Public Editor review what we tried to have them see in past articles here, that would be progress.
So, Ms Margaret Sullivan, in your diligent and thankless Public Editor efforts: perhaps you might devote some moments to the first-person critiques of ours listed below, and let us know if you feel your colleagues "got it right" on those earlier occasions. We feel quite sure they did not, and though we are accustomed to being ignored, we do wish more people understood better how editorial discretions tend to be exercised at 620 8th Avenue.
- 28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women
- 7-Jul-07: A Palestinian Terrorist
- 30-Mar-13: To see the NY Times gloss over this travesty of justice is journalism of the most amoral sort
Easy to be bitter when reading NY Times editorial apology: “We don’t always get it right” How sincere is the modesty? http://t.co/LAuDYYClaC— This Ongoing War (@ThisOngoingWar) November 19, 2013
|At the NY Times, they "don't always get it right" and keep on not getting it right. Click here to see if the unacceptable image is still on display.|