On “Brain Drain” at The New York Times: Is The Gray Lady Still the Prettiest Girl at the Party?

  • the-new-york-timesDylan Byers, of Politico, labels recent departures from NYT “brain drain.”
  • Erik Wemple, of The Washington Post, shoots back, “What about Politico’s ‘brain drain’?”
  • Then Byers and Wemple have a Twitter battle over it.
  • During negotiations to keep “stats guru” Nate Silver, his agent commented that his client was “the prettiest girl at the party,” says Michael Calderone in the Huffington Post. Executive Editor Jill Abramson countered that The New York Times is always the prettiest girl at the party.
  • Marc Tracy, in The New Republic, tells media critics to “Stop Hyperventilating!” The Gray Lady is losing staff, but maintaining its “prestige.”
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Conspiracy to commit journalism | Pressthink

Conversations at Stanley Park

Investigative journalism and the secret state are natural enemies. Even with an enlightened government and relatively untroubled times, their relationship will be uneasy at best.

Today, they’re in a state of undeclared war. Surveillance states and most of their fellow travellers are in too deep to pull back voluntarily. Some will be uneasy about how far things have gone but changing one’s mind is never a comfortable business, particularly if it has to be done in public.

Those opposed to overly intrusive and secret surveillance need to figure out the best ways to increase that uneasiness and offer palatable means for players to defect. The playing field needs to once again be tilted towards openness as the primary operating principle. To do that, unearthing secrets, valuable though it may be, is not enough.

It’s exactly these issues that Jay Rosen takes up in this recent piece at Pressthink.

A conspiracy…

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