The NYTimes Misses the Point

The NYTimes Misses the Point November 9, 2014

Asked by the Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan, dealing with readers’ objections that the newspaper is publishing for the wealthy, what kind of reader he’s publishing for, executive editor Dean Baquet replies:

“I think of The Times reader as very well-educated, worldly and likely affluent. But I think we have as many college professors as Wall Street bankers.”

Sullivan is concerned with all the articles on $5 million apartments and high-end luxury goods and that “the tone and the emphasis and the mix are off.” The other editors and writers, even those who write on other subjects like the poor, are concerned with appealing to the wealthy readers and the advertisers who buy ads to reach those wealthy readers, and fair enough. As Sullivan notes, a newspaper has to make money if it’s going to cover subjects like poverty.

However, even the public editor seems oblivious to the other problem of elitism: The fact that the executive editor’s target reader is college professors as well as Wall Street bankers. Their economic interests may differ (somewhat) but their ideological interests converge. It’s still, even with Ross Douthat sitting on his lonely perch off to the side,  a paper for the elite.

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