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The New York Times

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The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. It is owned by The New York Times Company, which also publishes other major newspapers like International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe, among 40 other newspapers.

Table of contents

History

The New York Times' main offices in New York City.

The New York Times was founded on September 18, 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones. Raymond was also a founding director of the Associated Press in 1856. It was originally intended to publish every morning except on Sundays; however, during the Civil War the Times started publishing Sunday issues along with other major dailies. It won its first Pulitzer Prize for news reports and articles about World War I in 1918. In 1919 it made its first trans-atlantic delivery to London. The crossword began to appear in 1942 as a feature. It bought the classical station WQXR in 1942. The fashions section started in 1946. The Times also started an international edition in 1946, but stopped publishing it in 1967 and joined with the owners of the New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post to publish The International Herald Tribune in Paris. The Op-Ed section started appearing in 1970. More recently, in 1996 The New York Times went online, giving access to readers all over the world on the Web at www.nytimes.com. A new headquaters for the newspaper, a skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano, is currently under construction at 41st Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.

Circulation

For the year ending Dec. 26, 2004, the reported circulation data for The New York Times were:

1,124,700 Weekday [1]

1,669,700 Sunday [2]

Infrastructure

The New York Times is based in New York City. It has 16 news bureaus in the New York region, 11 national news bureaus and 26 foreign news bureaus. [3]

The New York Times is printed at the following sites:

Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Billerica, MA; Canton, OH; Chicago, IL; College Point, NY; Concord, CA; Dayton, OH (Sunday only); Denver, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Gastonia, NC; Edison, NJ; Lakeland, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Minneapolis, MN; Springfield, VA; Kent, WA and Torrance, CA. [4]

Ownership

Adolph Ochs acquired the Times in 1896, and under his guidance the newspaper achieved an international scope, circulation, and reputation. In 1897 he coined the paper's current slogan "All The News That's Fit To Print," widely interpreted as a jibe to competing papers in New York (the New York World and the New York Journal American) that were known for yellow journalism. After relocating the paper's headquarters to a new tower on 42nd Street, the area was named Times Square in 1904. Nine years later, the Times opened an annex at 229 43rd Street, their current headquarters, later selling Times Tower in 1961. The newspaper is currently owned by The New York Times Company, in which descendants of Ochs, principally the Sulzberger family, maintain a dominant role.

Major Sections

The newspaper is organized in to the following three sections:

1. News 
Includes International, National, Washington, Business, Technology, Science, Health, Sports, New York Region, Education, Weather, Obituaries, and Corrections.
2. Opinion 
Includes Editorials, Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor.
3. Features 
Includes Arts, Books, Movies, Theater, Travel, NYC Guide, Dining & Wine, Home & Garden, Fashion & Style, Crossword/Games, Cartoons, Magazine, and Week in Review

Awards

The New York Times has won 90 Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious award for journalism in the US given away each year by Columbia University, including a record 7 in 2002. More recently, in 2004 the Times won a Pulitzer award for a series written by David Barstow and Lowell Bergman on employers and workplace safety issues.

Famous Mistakes

In 1920, a New York Times editorial ridiculed Robert Goddard and his claim that a rocket would work in space:

That Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react--to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.

In 1969, days before Apollo 11's landing on the moon, the newspaper published a tongue-in-cheek correction:

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century, and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error. [5]

More seriously, some have charged that the New York Times downplayed evidence that the Third Reich had targeted Jews for genocide, at least in part because the publisher feared the taint of taking on any 'Jewish cause'.

Allegations of Bias

The Times has been criticized for allowing Exxon-Mobil Corporation to run a regular paid "advertorial" commentary piece on its editorial page, although the practice is common in other U.S. newspapers. Some studies have shown that the Times selection of op-ed pieces and letters to the editor seem to "bracket" their editorial position, making the editorials appear to be moderate.

Conservatives believe that the Times' hard news and soft news reportage have a consistent and pronounced liberal slant, particularly on social issues. Additionally, the intermix of political commentary with art criticism in the Arts section of the paper is pointed to as evidence of bias. For example, A. O. Scott's film reviews sometimes contain barbs directed at social conservatives, and Frank Rich's Arts columns regularly attack conservatives.

Conversely, many liberals and progressives believe that the Times' hard reporting of foreign policy issues tends to be biased towards right-wing views. In the film Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, Noam Chomsky's allegations of the paper's deliberate downplaying Indonesia's brutal invasion and occupation of East Timor are extensively illustrated as a major example of this.

Some liberals believe that the Times' reporting of economic policy issues tends to be biased towards upper-middle class or upper-class concerns over the concerns of the poor or working-class.

Third, some Times political reporters, such as Elisabeth Bumiller and Adam Nagourney, have been accused by liberals of covering politics in a shallow and unreflective fashion that (perhaps inadvertently) benefits conservatives.

Additionally, The New York Times has not supported a Republican Party candidate for president since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

In the op-ed section, the Times' regular columnists — who operate largely independently of the rest of the paper, and are subject to relatively little editorial oversight — have a mixed range of political orientations. However, some claim that this mix is unbalanced, and that this imbalance demonstrate a liberal bias at the newspaper. The 2004 roster of regular columnists range in political position from Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and Bob Herbert on the left, to Nicholas Kristof in the center-left, to Thomas Friedman in the center, to David Brooks, formerly of The Weekly Standard magazine, and John Tierney on the right. However, attempts to place these columnists' positions on a one-dimensional American political spectrum does not completely characterize their actions or views. For example, Dowd strongly criticized President Clinton; Krugman (a professional economist) spoke as an economic centrist before he began systematically criticizing the George W. Bush administration; and Safire has criticized the Patriot Act.

Riccardo Puglisi from the London School of Economics has written an empirical paper about the editorial choices of the New York Times from 1946 to 1994, entitled, "Being the New York Times: The Political Behaviour of a Newspaper" (December 6, 2004). [6] He finds that the Times displays Democratic partisanship, with some watchdog aspects. For example, during presidential campaigns, the paper systematically gives more coverage to Democratic topics (civil rights, health care, labor, social welfare), but only so when the incumbent president is a Republican.

Times self-examination of bias

In summer 2004, the Times' ombudsman, Daniel Okrent, wrote a piece on the Times' alleged liberal bias. He concluded that the Times did have a liberal bias in coverage of certain social issues, gay marriage being the example he used. He claimed that this bias reflected the paper's cosmopolitanism, which arose naturally from its roots as a hometown paper of New York City (in the United States, cosmopolitan urban populations, like New York City's, tend to be more socially liberal than the mean).

To date, Okrent has not commented extensively on general biases in coverage of "hard news" matters, such as fiscal policy, foreign policy, or civil liberties. However, he has noted that the paper's coverage of the Iraq war was, among other things, insufficiently critical of the George W. Bush administration (see below).

Recent Controversies

In 2003, the Times admitted to journalism fraud committed over a span of several years by one of its reporters, Jayson Blair, and the general professionalism of the paper was questioned, though Blair immediately resigned following the incident. Questions of affirmative action in journalism were also raised, since Blair was African American. Several top officials, including the chief of its editorial board, also resigned their posts following the incident.

On May 26, 2004, the Times published another significant admission of journalistic failings, admitting that its flawed reporting during the buildup to war with Iraq helped promote the misleading belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. [7] While this "From the Editors" piece didn't mention names, a large part of the incriminated articles had been written by Times reporter Judith Miller.

A second self-criticism by Okrent went further. "The failure was not individual, but institutional," he wrote. "War requires an extra standard of care, not a lesser one. But in the Times's WMD coverage, readers encountered some rather breathless stories built on unsubstantiated 'revelations' that, in many instances, were the anonymity-cloaked assertions of people with vested interests. Times reporters broke many stories before and after the war – but when the stories themselves later broke apart, in many instances Times readers never found out. ... Other stories pushed Pentagon assertions so aggressively you could almost sense epaulets sprouting on the shoulders of editors. ... The aggressive journalism that I long for, and that the paper owes both its readers and its own self-respect, would reveal not just the tactics of those who promoted the WMD stories, but how the Times itself was used to further their cunning campaign." [8]

Employees

Executive editors

Columnists

Diversity

The New York Times received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2004, the third year of the report.

See also

Further reading

  • Campomenosi, Louis Joseph, III. New York Times Editorial Coverage of the American Involvement in Vietnam, 1945–1965: A Case Study to Test the Huntington Thesis of the Existence of an Oppositional Press in the United States.. Tulane University (1994)
  • Hess, John. My Times: A Memoir of Dissent, Seven Stories Press (2003), cloth, ISBN 1583226044; trade paperback, Seven Stories Press (2003), ISBN 1583226222
  • Leff, Laurel. Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Famous Newspaper, Cambridge University Press (2005), cloth, ISBN 100521812879.
  • Mnookin, Seth. Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, Random House (2004), cloth, ISBN 1400062446.

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