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NYT: Sitting on a story that might have changed the world
Nov 12th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Courageous public discussion

explains much, excuses little

The revelations of uber-leaker Edward Snowden prompted some soul searching at The New York Times.

IN A COURAGEOUS – if overdue – explanation of one of the most enduring mysteries at The New York Times, the public editor on Sunday examined why the paper delayed publishing a vital story that might have influenced the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.
It’s an eight-year old topic arisen anew to the front page: illegal government spying.
The story by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau ­(based on information from a source later revealed as a phone company employee) disclosed the massive (and then illegal) surveillance operation mounted by the Bush/Cheney administration in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
It was held by The Times for 13 months, until, as the column explains, there “were a couple of guns held to its head.”


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Future of newspapers brightens as some adapt to digital era (with video)

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK: NYT CO. TO PAY DIVIDEND
The Thursday announcement that The New York Times Co. is restoring its dividend is the clearest signal yet that the Gray Lady is successfully adapting its business model to the new realities of publishing in the Internet age.
It comes after a decade of stern warnings that the end of print media in general – and daily newspapers in particular – was approaching rapidly.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that those who provide “indispensable journalism” and find a way to monetize their online content are those that will survive this wrenching transition.
It was definitely the best news of the week.


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NYT columnist bares internecine battle over who is a journalist

IN IRONIC TWIST, REPORTERS ATTACK EACH OTHER
The media spotlight has turned back on the journalists who have been involved in the publication of major government secrets this summer
In a remarkable analysis “War on Leaks Is Pitting Journalist vs. Journalist” David Carr of The New York Times focuses on the issue.
But he omits one vital point. Judith Miller was the biggest stooge of all time. And he knows it.
The issue of who is a journalist is no longer in its infancy.
The definition should be drawn as broadly as possible, to encompass everyone who works to publish information of vital public interest, irrespective of the media, the technology or who signs their paycheck.


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THREE YEARS TO GO: 2016 presidential campaign under way (with video)

HILLARY CLINTON LEADS THE PACK OUT OF THE GATE
It is more than three years until the next time Americans go to the ballot box to elect a president, but there can be no doubt the campaign has already started.
Why is the media – including The New York Times – paying so much attention to a matter so far into the future? It risks turning voters off by the millions. Voter fatigue is a well-researched phenomenon.
Having the media narrative all sewn up three years in advance is anathema to an open election with a true expression of the voters’ opinion.
It is regrettable – but, alas, in America unavoidable.


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The New York Times turns spotlight on itself

THE GRAY LADY REINVENTS ITSELF FOR DIGITAL ERA
In a column as remarkable for its subject matter as for the fact that it appeared at all, James B. Stewart discusses in detail the present and future ownership of the Grey Lady (as she is affectionately known in the trade) and details of its business operations.
The New York Times is succeeding in transitioning its business model to the digital era.
But its continued success at offering readers indispensible journalism – the value of which we are now beginning to fully comprehend and pay for – is just as important.


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Federal law protecting anonymous sources urgently needed

PERSECUTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS DRYING UP DATA FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS
The time has come for federal protection for journalists, or the American public will never know what it does NOT know because whistleblowers fear reporters will be compelled to reveal confidential sources.
The relentless persecution of government whistleblowers by the Obama administration is drying up sources of vital information. Many are fearful of communicating with journalists, who increasingly are being forced to divulge their anonymous sources.
Get In the (K)now here, now.


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Image manipulation a hot topic of debate

In news photography, manipulation of images is strictly forbidden. But, says an authority on the subject, here are no real rules. Even the National Press Photographers Association, which used to allow major dodging and burning, does not allow it in PhotoShop.
Things are changing so fast in image manipulation the the rules cannot keep up with the capabilities of the technology. What is acceptable? What should be disclosed? The ansers to these questions are far from easy.


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Who caused more harm at The New York Times in 2003?

Those of us who believe in The New York Times as an institution still wonder, almost daily, when we read anonymously sourced stories on Page One, whether someone as gullible as Miller wrote them.


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