In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory and voters’ scorching criticism of the media during the campaign, the New York Times is taking a look in the mirror.
The newspaper’s publisher appealed to readers for their continued support as the Times looks to “reflect” on its election coverage and “rededicate” itself to honestly reporting the news.
Letter to NYT readers from Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Dean Baquet pic.twitter.com/jORqzx3BA9
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) November 11, 2016
“As we reflect on this week’s momentous result,and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism,” Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. wrote in a letter to readers on Friday. “That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor.”
Sulzberger added that he believed the Times reported on both presidential candidates “fairly.”
But the newspaper’s public editor, Liz Spayd, called out the publication for its election coverage, noting how Hillary Clinton was given an 84 percent chance by its polling feature as Election Day arrived.
The NYT would do well to plant some roots in Red America https://t.co/HDd4SFJqtq
— Liz Spayd (@spaydl) November 9, 2016
Spayd cited examples of hoe the paper favorably portrayed Hillary Clinton while delivering a negative image of Trump.
“Readers are sending letters of complaint at a rapid rate,” Spayd wrote. “Here’s one that summed up the feelings succinctly, from Kathleen Casey of Houston: ‘Now, that the world has been upended and you are all, to a person, in a state of surprise and shock, you may want to consider whether you should change your focus from telling the reader what and how to think, and instead devote yourselves to finding out what the reader (and nonreaders) actually think.'”
“Please come down from your New York City skyscraper and join the rest of us,” another reader wrote, according to Spayd.
In a piece in The New York Post, former Times reporter Michael Goodwin said the publication took “a beating almost as brutal as Hillary Clinton’s.”
“Because it demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something,” Goodwin wrote. “And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president.”
Many others in the mainstream media may consider joining the Times at the table for a heaping slice of humble pie.
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