Monday, May 09, 2005

Times Report (.......yawn)

The Times committee report on its credibility gap was about what you'd expect from a bureaucratic groupthink effort of this sort. The emphasis was on "process" without any serious attempt to deal with the newspaper's journalistic lapses (not that any was expected).

I could only see one finding that seemed even slightly interesting. It was on page 14 of this sixteen-page opus:

"Too often we label whole groups from a perspective that uncritically accepts a stereotype or unfairly marginalizes them. As one reporter put it, words like moderate or centrist 'inevitably incorporate a judgment about which views are sensible and which are extreme.' We often apply 'religious fundamentalists,' another loaded term, to political activists who would describe themselves as Christian conservatives.

"We particularly slip into these traps in feature stories when reporters and editors think they are merely presenting an interesting slice of life, with little awareness of the power of labels. We need to be more vigilant about the choice of language not only in the text but also in headlines, captions and display type."

True enough. Work on it, guys. Or go back to sleep. Whatever.
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