Real Media Riffs - Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003
by John Gaffney, Jul 15, 2003, 12:00 AM
If I'm new The New York Times executive editor Bill Keller:
- Win The Newsroom. When you're working at a newspaper, magazine, or any content generating division of a media property, you have to make sure there's a common sense of purpose. And you have to do the best you can to make sure all the team members feel comfortable with their contribution. Everything that has come out about The NYT situation, including the Howell Raines interview on Charlie Rose, says there's a problem here. Keller needs to fix that, and it won't be an overnight fix.
- Stop The Corrections: Any newspaper that puts out the volume of material The Times does is bound to need clarifications and corrections. Obviously a situation like Jayson Blair's where facts were fabricated is totally different. But this newspaper had a standard of excellence in reporting that needs to be restored. Keller needs to hire a managing editor who will make that job one.
- Limit The Corrections: This week The Times ran a 2,100 word correction about its mess of a TVT Records piece. I don't know about you, but I rarely read anything in a newspaper that gets over 1,500 words. Admitting you're wrong is called humility. Putting a "kick me" sign on your back is unnecessary.
- Get Back To What Got Us Here: The Times became the paper of record through unforgiving investigations of domestic affairs and insightful reporting on foreign affairs. I think there's enough subject matter in those areas these days to rebuild around. I don't read The Times for Frank Rich. I do read it for Thomas Friedman.
- Follow steps one through four so people like me stop writing columns like this.