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NYTimes Chief: Future of News

A conversation with the New York Times’ top editor Bill Keller on his paper and the radically changing news business.

New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, bottom right, at the Times building, beside photographer Damon Winter, center, 2009. Winter had just won the Pulitzer Prize. (AP)

In the 20th century, the New York Times had the biggest word and usually the last word in American news. The tip-top spot in the American news media. 

What about this century, when technology and Tea Partiers are turning a lot of old assumptions and power structures upside-down? 

With us today is Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times. He’s the top boss. The chief. He’s steering a storied news organization into very choppy seas. Newspapers are failing. Politics are whirling. It’s a good time to talk.

-Tom Ashbrook


Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times. He’s worked at the Times since 1984, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union. He has also served as managing editor and as an Op-Ed columnist.

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  • Nevan

    When the N.Y. Times isn’t fabricating news stories (as it has been known to have done in the past), then the Times can be counted on to promote it’s pro-gay, tax and spend, pro-Obama, far left, fictional news spin.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Unlike Nevan, I read the New York Times online every day and count on it for both hard news and editorial opinion. I’ve been reading it in one form or another most of my life no matter where I’ve lived.

    That said, the NY Times’ transition to digital has been and continues to be a disaster. Their iPad app is terrible, their web site, while beautifully built requires logins at times it should not.

    My suggestion for them is to go the way Salon has gone: open the site up with plenty of ads to generate revenue and allow users to subscribe to get rid of the ads. I would gladly subscribe to keep the New York Times afloat and get rid of ads.

    Put out a decent iPad app that also works on the phone that allows users to see all content and narrow it down as they want. Use iAds to make money and be done with it.

    I’d hate to see this news source go under because they can’t figure out how to make money in the transition to digital.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    PS: I track the New York times entirely through its various RSS feeds, only going to the site when I need to to read an entire piece.

    For me, this is the most important page on the NY Times site:


  • Ed

    Why is the New York Times so relentlessly anti-Catholic? The papal visit to England was covered somewhere on page 18 one day, and they rehashed old cases and didn’t talk about his speeches.

  • http://brainmindinst.blogspot.com Peter Melzer

    In respect to commenting, they could really learn from The Wall Street Journal.

    With 12 hours and more approval times, we never get a real conversation going. In addition, it would be useful to have a post-edit option.

    Check out WSJ, they found a practical solution.

  • Yar

    I would like to see print media adopt the public radio affiliate model for the online newspaper business.

    I live in a rural area that has a struggling daily paper, our regional state paper gets thiner by the day. I read them all online, and the NYT as well. These papers should form a compact that shares readers across markets.
    Most advertising in NYT doesn’t influence me and I doubt the advertisers are counting on revenue from many distance online readers. If my local paper advertised a package where they focus on the local news and provide access to the state and national news then more people might subscribe. We need print media for the in-depth reporting they can do.

  • Mark

    The New York Times is on the chopping block of the Tea Partiers – only the strong survive, weak die agenda!

  • brandstad

    News papers need to remove the left wing slant from their pages. You can easily see that the farther left the paper slants the news, the more the circulation if hurting.

  • John

    The NY Times needs to find a way to make money with advertising. I’m not paying for content. They won’t have the largest news site in the world if they charge for content.

  • jeffe

    It’s amazing how people think the NY Times is left wing.
    Try reading the Guardian. In Europe news papers have a history of leaning right or left.

    You folks on the right want everything to reflect your point of views. In my opinion that’s not a good thing.

    The charging for content idea is going to fail as it did a few years ago. The model Mr. Keller mentioned will drive people like me away. I like the idea of paying for an ad free environment.

  • Bill

    After everything the NYT did to sell the Iraq war, I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • ginnie

    Yep, and don’t forget about those of us overseas who enjoy the NYT daily digest via audible.com

  • David

    I think your original premise is incorrect, that power structures are being turned upside-down. The protege’s of the same elite few who were in power a hundred years ago are still in power today. Case in point — the unwillingness of the NY Times, or any other mainstream media, to honestly investigate the overwhelming evidence of explosives in the WTC on 9/11. It’s business as usual.

  • Nicholas Herold

    I am dumbfounded by the discussion about how to charge for the news. Why don’t news organizations charge for the first use of original, current news, but give the archives away?

    The old saw is “There’s nothing older than yesterday’s news,” is as true now as it ever was. In fact, once valued information is on the net, it’s impossible to control it. Yet the NYT and other news organizations charge for archives but not for today’s news.



    The reason why so many people think that the NY Times (and the mainstream media in general) is so liberal is because it is. When was the last time that the NY Times did an expose on the murderous butchery that occurs when performing a partial birth abortion? If people really knew what constitutes that process rather than the sterilized innocuous label that is used, most people would be aghast. But that would contradict the liberal viewpoint, which is why you will never see such an article. I’m sure that the NY Times would have been against the Nazi experiments performed on humans during WW II. They should be consistent, rather than political.

  • JP


    Why is the Times the object of so much vitriol by the right?

    Because fact-based reporting has never done the right much good, that’s why.

  • Brian

    Attacking and trying to silence the media is a page right out of Hitler’s playbook. There you go, Glenn Beck. Have a taste of your own everyone-I-don’t-like-is-a-Nazi medicine.

  • Y Chong

    I’d pay for online access to the Times. I could afford a print subscription now (when I started reading the Times online, I was a poor student), but I dislike having piles of newsprint around the house.

    If I could get a digital copy with no advertising (how I dislike advertising), even better.

  • Marion

    I like reading the New York Times (as I feel being really informed) and I try to do so every day. I’d charge for reading online and I would distribute the paper only now and then to students because there are a lot of people who read it but don’t want to pay.


    For conservatives, the answer is always “pay no attention” to other news outlets becuase they don’t want their follower to hear the actual truth. They don’t like News Sources to screw up their made-up narrative and looney opinionated “reporting”. Facts just don’t matter to them, they won’t further their causes. Ms. Palin hates the media because they exposed what a fraud she is and continues to be.

  • brandstad

    Isn’t it clear that the US population has voted with their dollars and the NYT is not trusted, reliable, and unbiased? Why can they not change with the times and remove their bias?

  • Sharon Edward

    While I continue to read the NYTimes daily, I no longer trust it to be accurate or thorough. When I graduated from college back in 1968, I revered it. Sadly I now find it consistently agenda-driven and partisan to the extreme. I would love to see the standards of the old NYT be reclaimed.

  • Mark

    It’s a pity that the op-ed page, once welcoming to ideas regardless of the obscurity of the source, seems now more to be reserved for the repeatings of known voices and the opinions of celebrities (Bono as a columnist? Please.) Haven’t we lost something from this shift?

  • Mary

    What kind of journalism do I want? How about investigative reporting? Is this a thing of the past, that news agencies can not afford anymore? We are in a decade, or more of reality television, and the news agencies seem to be following the trend.
    Fox seems to be the pawn of the Republican party, with people like Oliver North of Iran Contra fame, who get their owns show.
    I can change the channels from MSNBC to FOX and they all seem to play the same event. Even if it is just the latest Linsey Lohan infraction.

  • Dave B.

    To right-wing extremists, any perspective that doesn’t slant to the extreme right is “liberal”.

  • Chris

    Methinks thou doth protest to much – it seems the louder they yell “it’s biased” the more I think they are scared of what the NYT reports. Facists regimes always suppress what threatens their existance: facts and truth.

  • http://wrni Kathryn McGowan

    While I was growing up in NY, my Dad got 5 daily newspapers, including the NY Times. Since then, no matter where I have moved, I have gotten the NY Times daily & delivered, & I always will. Of note, my 11 yo also reads the (printed) NY Times, & when asked to report on an article she has read, she of her own will chose articles on Iran’s nuclear threat, among other “grown up” topics. That’s what getting a daily paper in time for breakfast engenders!!

  • Dan Lyon

    I’m upset because Mr. Keller is doing his job so well in managing content that I wish the NYT could continue to retain its spot wearing the crown of news and media. When I hear what the business and website plans are, I am perplexed. Why can’t you focus on gaining traffic to your website? Traffic is influence – it’s power! Why do you think the price per share of the Times Co. is under $8, while the price for Google is over $500? It’s traffic!!!!

    That traffic is why Mr. Keller thinks the NYT is holding its own against the Wall Street Journal in subscriber numbers. But that traffic at the NYT now is due to it being free!

    And I must say, the technology at the Times’ website is wasted on using up my computer’s memory on annoying ads. The New York Times needs, without a doubt, to keep the content, but also to get better at non-intrusive ads based on volume. I see that volume/traffic as the source of Google’s power and the little power that the NYT is fighting to maintain. Please figure out a way to have the best website, the best technology and keep this content of record available to as many people as possible!

  • Geri

    The liberal New York Times has been effectively countered by the balanced reporting by Fox News. The fact that a majority of Americans are right of center is reinforced by the success of Fox.

  • Hugh Macsherry

    To say that any publication has no agenda is like saying that any person has no accent. It is not true and unrealistic. The New York Times does a fine job of trying to address issues from the perspective of facts as the reporters and staff view them. I do not expect the Times to be completely neutral. I expect the Times to be honest with itself, and I expect the readers to understand where it is coming from.
    I appreciate, however, the Times’s attempts to keep its discourse civil, even if I don’t think that it is or should be completely impartial.

  • Douglas Andersen

    In 2009, NYT Company’s CEO, earned more than the value of her weight in gold. (She was paid over $6 million. 14.583 Troy Ounces per pound, Gold is around $1300 per Troy Ounce and that works out to about $19,000 per pound.)

    That’s almost 4 cents for every share.

    No wonder the company just reported a quarterly loss! Is The New York Times Company spending its money on the right things?


    The liberal New York Times has been effectively countered by the balanced reporting by Fox News. The fact that a majority of Americans are right of center is reinforced by the success of Fox.

    Posted by Geri

    Your joking right?? Fox news is anything but fair and balanced, it slants so far to the right you would think it would fall over. The idea that majority of Americans are right of center may be reinforced by Fox, but that doesn’t mean it is true.

  • jeffe

    Winston go read another paper if you don’t like it. It’s called a free press. They have the right to print what they want, Just as the WSJ and the Washington Times and Politicol does. I read these other news outlets as well as I’m trying to get some idea of how things are being framed by journalist who lean towards the right.
    You want extremism, read D’Souza’ article in Forbes.

    I don’t like Fox and I don’t’ watch it. I could go on an on like you are about the right wing press.

    Don’t read it if you want to live in a little right wing vacuum. As for your comment tying abortions to the nazis, well that says it all does it not.
    Again look at the British press, you have news organizations on that lean to the right, Murdocks, and ones that lean to the left, The Guardian.

  • brandstad

    Did this elitist just call everyone outside of the big cities NOT open minded? Who made him a Judge! no wonder no one reads his paper!

  • tom

    When will the NY Times ditch paper and go totally electronic?

  • Al Dorman

    Simple question:
    Why did you cowardly fire Chris Hedges for telling the truth about the Iraq War?

  • Rebecca

    I can’t imagine not getting the good old fashion paper version of the NYT delivered daily. Despite being surrounded by laptops, iPads, iPhones, etc., my husband and I (both in our 30s) relish the half hour we get to spend every morning with our coffee and the paper spread between us on the kitchen table. I’m personally happy to pay for news of the quality reported by the NYT, but I think there is great value (in terms of maintaining readership and promoting ongoing dialogue) to keeping online access to news free of charge.

  • p

    The NY Times is of course liberal. If they deny that then they are dishonest. If they want to be that way that is their right, but don’t act like it is balanced. Just say that you are a liberal media. It is your right to do so. It is a business. If it doesn’t sell then they won’t survive. The people will decide.

  • Eric M. Jones

    For you conservatives out there: Truth has a liberal bias.

  • Dan

    Question: What can Bill Keller tell us about news papers and their presentation of the facts?

    I think much of the news either doesn’t provide enough facts or doesn’t explain well enough how they come to get their information. Is it possible news papers to post citations on their websites? or at least elaborate?

    I always concerned about where “facts” come from and how stories are analyzed.

    Thank you.
    Dan in VT

  • Di Sembiring

    I love NTY. I read it everyday. It is impossible to get gor and detail news by just listening to “breaking news” on TV. It is not “Liberal” in Fox News sense. It is just open minded paper. If Fox news or conservatives said it liberal.. so be it.

  • Chris

    I never watch broadcast news, it is distracting and makes everything sensationalized. I prefer to get my news via papers, radio, and online sources. I also get my information from a variety of sources, so I can make my own informed decisions. People who get all their news from one source or station are shorting themselves.



    I agree that the NY Times has the right to print what it wants. I was simply pointing out a specific example that demonstrates its liberal bias. But the last segment is a perfect example of the blindness of liberals. Mr Keller said that theY Times is not liberal, while at the same time endorsing gay marriage, abortion, denying creationism a forum (and name calling them to silence them even though many very intelligent scientists embrace creationism), and other liberal causes. And you are simply resorting to the narrow minded hate speech that liberals resort to when trapped by their own inconsistency.

  • John

    The criticism of Judy Miller was not overblown.

  • sean

    Since I have access to the internet , I now see the bias of the NYT. How can I buy a newspaper who doesn’t publish the truth?

  • John

    “many very intelligent scientists embrace creationism” — No they don’t.

  • William Maher

    First off: To Tom Ashbrook– thanks for all the softball questions to the N.Y. Times editor. I’m surprised you didn’t ask him what his favorite color was. Do you think if George Will was running today’s program, you would evidence such lame questions?

    It’s frustrating to once again read the lefties out here who can’t come to admit they’re lefties, including the N.Y. Times. I don’t know officially who the New York Times has endorsed for President over the past 30 years, let’s say. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess they endorsed the following cradle-to-grave welfare socialist/marxists for president: Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, John Kerry, the Clintonistas, Barack O’Bama? Please shock me out of my baseless assertion and tell me, as an example, that the N.Y. Times endorsed John McCain? Let’s put the shoe on the other foot: If ABC news endorsed Ronald Reagan, John McCain, George Bush, et al– do you think the lefties would be tuning into ABC news? When are the lefties going to stop running from the labels that define them honestly and accurately?

  • JP

    Faux News is the ONLY news outlet acceptable to the “right” nowadays… that’s because it lies constantly to justify their moronic positions.

  • Jana Byars

    While I have nothing but respect for the New York Times, read it daily, and treat it as the first and best source for news in this country I would like to call Mr. Keller to task for suggesting that “everybody” believed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. I was living in Italy during this period and, in fact, European newspapers made it quite clear that there were no WMDs. Neither Europeans nor Americans living abroad believed that there were WMDs. Hearing that comment from Mr. Keller reminds me of the horror of that immediate post-9/11 madness.

  • JP

    Truth doesn’t have a liberal bias, the right in this country has a bias against truth… this hasn’t always been the case, but it is with today’s moronic right.

  • Micah Myers

    Props to NPR and On Point. Look at the left-right-left right exchange of comments marching down this page. Regardless of our political leanings, we all listen to NPR. Kudos.

  • Stephen Pitkin

    My greatest concern for the Times and other serious news media like NPR is that they are staring down the slippery slope of trying to lure readers / listeners by making the news more like entertainment. This is what Fox News and almost every other news delivery organization is doing. Making news entertaining does a tremendous disservice to democracy.

  • Joe G

    In the lead up to the Iraq war, the Bush administration fed propaganda to the NY Times, then Dick Cheney cited the to the NYT to bolster his arguments. The NYT was “played” period.

    The explanation that the NYT got caught up in the “common wisdom” is unacceptable and begs the question of why would they act more responsibly in the future.

  • http://www.ellisphotostudio.com Richard Ellis

    While you aspire to be a noble organization and set ethical standards for your reporting, the fact is you are a business. A public company with the majority of shares and profits in the hands of a few. You are not elected, you are not a government organization and you only serve the public good as long as you can profit from it. You even hide the fact that your customers are not readers or the public, but advertisers and regardless of how you spin it your content is shaped for your advertisers. Why for example do you have 100 pages dedicated to arts & entertainment but only 10 to science. Not that readers are more interested or that there is more news for one or the other, but because there are hundreds of advertisements from plays, movies, music etc while only a few companies interested in underwriting science reporting. To gain back readers and the public trust you must first face that fact and come clean on what you are and what you do. As long as you hide behind some false idea that you serve the public good and are some sort of guardian of truth you will continue losing readers. The internet while changing the economics of newspapers has also brought to attention the “man behind the curtain” and the public no longer buys your sales pitch.

  • siggi

    tom tom here you go again, this show sounds like the loser complaining about begin bullied at the school yard,

  • JaneM

    Here’s my problem: I like to read NYTimes, but I also like to read Salon.com, Boston Globe, Washington Post…I tend to scan them quickly and pick up editorials I’m interested in reading. I will never be able to afford to subscribe to all the sites I like to read. I also get the Worcester Telegram (Central Massachusetts) and local regional paper in paper form. So I’m already spending $50 a month or more, including The Atlantic, US News & World Report, The New Yorker magazines as well. If NYTimes adds a subscription fee, I might have to let it go.

  • Gordon

    It seems to me the NYT has always been “overly-credulous” of official sources. Throughout the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 80s, for example, most of their articles referred to military sources and did not bother to present civilian sources, which were often far more reliable in retrospect, with the standout exception of Raymond Bonner.

    The Iraq situation was very similar. I will never forget the appalling sight of Michael Gordon lecturing Amy Goodman on the primary rule of journalism, which, if I understood his comments correctly, is to be polite to your sources! Judith Miller similarly acted as Dick Cheney’s pawn, and the NYT let it pass because the reporting, after all, was based on official sources.

    Treating official sources with the skepticism they require is to my mind the primary weakness of the New York Times. This inside-baseball aesthetic undermines what is otherwise, and every once in a while, a great source of investigative journalism.

  • judy

    “Faux News is the ONLY news outlet acceptable to the “right” nowadays… that’s because it lies constantly to justify their moronic positions.”

    I am a “lefty” and think the new york times is biased and reports false news! I want real news period.



    The reason why you are not aware of the existence of scientists who believe in creationism is because of the fact the the liberal press, NPR, public television, etc. simply name call and shout rather than giving the overwhelming evidence for creationism a fair, objective hearing. This is nothing new as Romans 1:18-32 speaks of those who “supress the truth in unrightousness.” By denying the existence of the Creator to whom we will all give an account, we can define our own morality and therefore define gay marraige, abortion, and other morally repugnant acts as fine. One day, hopefully in this life rather than in the next one when it will too late, you and others who believe as you do will realize that the complexity and interdependency of the creation clearly proves the existence of God and our accountability to Him.

  • jeffe

    creationism a forum (and name calling them to silence them even though many very intelligent scientists embrace creationism)

    Oh please, if you believe in this ideology that’s fine.
    However using it as a way to judge the NY Times is absurd.
    The very idea of this fantasy called creationism having any credibility is laughable.

  • Josephine

    I love reading the NY Times for the same reason that I like to following NPR – articles on various topics and in-depth reporting. Where can I find “quality” (I emphasize quality) reporting on topics ranging from news to home to food and wine at one place? Even if the NY Times has a bit of liberal leaning, considering other mainstream news outlet has a more conservative leaning (WSJ and Fox), it is good to have the Times around to balance the overall media landscape.

    Mr. Keller – I have no problem paying for a NY Times subscription, but I just hate the idea of having piles of newspaper because the reality is often I cannot read all of it. The weekender is a great idea. Even better is a iPad edition. I would happily pay for a subscription on a iPad or other electronic platform.

  • http://wbur.org Peter from Newton MA

    Re:the Times charging for access.
    As Apple is trying to do, how about other subscription services which link to many providers and charge a flat rate per week/month/year, then give each news site a share of the income proportionate to the % of time the reader spends there, relative to all the sites on the service. The more interesting the publication, the more minutes of viewing it gets. I could access sites through the service, if necessary.
    Otherwise, if everything is individual subscription, I’ll only pay for a site I want to see frequently. The other model is more like flipping through a cable service – more chance of happening on something new. This could be advantageous for any provider, including the Times.

  • John

    Winston, evolution has been proven. There is almost certainly no god. Morality evolved and was not imposed upon humanity. Gays deserve the same rights and no less moral than anyone else. Abortion should be a personal choice. Any god vain enough to punish someone for not belieing in him does not deserve to be worshiped.

  • ThresherK

    ACORN “scandal”? Anybody? The disgraced Andrew Breitbart?

    It seemed like a big deal at the time, and the NYT ombud then fretted that it should have, beforehand, been exercising better journalistic judgment. How? By The Times not ignoring right-wingers who aren’t exactly truthtellers, scientists, journalists, historians or economists.

    Because that’s the kind of thing that makes a great newspaper. And taking the same kind of swill one gets on Fox News, but putting a NYT label on it, is all the journalistic “evenhandedness” the right wants nowadays.

  • joshua

    Posted by p: “The NY Times is of course liberal. If they deny that then they are dishonest. If they want to be that way that is their right, but don’t act like it is balanced. Just say that you are a liberal media. It is your right to do so. It is a business. If it doesn’t sell then they won’t survive. The people will decide.”

    “liberal” is a perspective. If you’re on Mars, than Earth is closer to the sun. If you’re on Venus, Earth is farther away.

    i don’t know what liberal means. From who’s perspective? On what issue? Im not a clone. I dont have to obey Fox news or the fascist presidents.

    Does the mainstream media, or Fox news ever admit to being right-wing, or propaganda, or absolute lies, or fascist? NO, but that’s what they are? When will they admit it P? When Fox watchers admit they are hateful bigots with no education? When will Fox watchers admit to being fascists? When will mainstream viewers admit to being extremely gullible and non-thinking?

  • k

    Objective journalism is dead. It is all biased. I just wish they would admit it. The acorn scandal was legit and the Breitbart was legit. They each have an agenda. Although Breitbart did say that he was trying to point out the hipocracy of the naacp when they were heard cheering when she said the things she did before they knew the whole content of her speech. She ended up redeeming herself, but they didn’t know that when they were cheering. All they knew was she didn’t want to help out a white guy. He should have played the whole thing though. Everyone is going to have to figure things out for themselves now and not trust anyone in the media. It is corrupt.


    Anyone who turns to a centuries old story book written by human (men) for guidance will be the one who will surely be surprised by what happen after death: nothing, you are dead and your body decays, but not back into the earth since we encase our dead in sealed concrete.

    Also, if you don’t like/approve of something (abortion, gays, ect) articulate why instead of blaming your opinion on a book that told you so, otherwise I don’t want to hear it.

  • Gordon

    “…the existence of the Creator to whom we will all give an account”

    Falsifiable evidence, please? If you have a way of validating your assertion, I think we would all like to see it, so we can settle this once and for all!

    “The reason why you are not aware of the existence of scientists who believe in creationism”

    There may be such scientists, but that doesn’t mean that this opinion is scientific. Really, if there is a scientific study that provides evidence for creationism, I sure would like to see it.

    I don’t think science really “proves” anything that cannot, in theory at least, be overthrown by subsequent discovery, but that doesn’t mean that any improbable assertion is somehow of value because a lot of people make it.

    It also doesn’t mean that a belief is necessarily false because there is as yet no falsifiable evidence for it, and it seems to me that a lot of morality and aesthetics fall into this area — it is not within the boundaries, at this point, of science, and as long as religion operates within this sphere, I don’t think it is especially problematic.

    But, to assert objective existence of something like the creation or an omniscient god without evidence is no more convincing than asserting the moon is made of cheese.

  • m

    Do you know how stupid you sound when you consider yourself a liberal and then go and say that anyone who listens to other viewpoints are racists, ignorant or bigots with no education. That attitude is why they call us liberals elitists that don’t get the rest of the country. We are supposed to be the tolerant ones that give others the chance to give their poinjt of view and then debate. Calling people racist and not educated is a copout.

  • michael

    “I would like to see print media adopt the public radio affiliate model for the online newspaper business.”

    I surly would not, the public radio(or LLC NPR/NPM) are now underwritten by corporate interest(or ads) .My friend whose I got to listen to NPR a few years ago on his way to work was talking to me and ask when did npr started playing ads and didn’t realize how many ads are on NPR now, Glee ads was on for nearly weeks everyday on the NPR.

    Than the NPR ombudsman even with pride reported on her page how those guest/companies who donate big money get’s to meet with journalist who cover what there interested or have a certain point of view on yet refuse to name who these people were.

    The model NPR has taken no longer relies on public donation from listeners but from corporation, if you look throughout the years you can see certain stories slanted to reflect certain donors, the IPHONE,IPAD had hours of hours of promotion on NPR.

    The NYT is still far more creditable than anything you can find on foxs cable news or it’s website and most of NPR in regards to the military or Corporations. Like the weak reporting on the Kill team of U.S. soldiers nearly a week after bbc has reported such.

    Lets see what happens if a Scandal happens with liberty Mutural and how OP covers it?

  • Jan Macy

    There is a pattern in the news media to converge en masse, for lack of a better term, on the “top” story or stories. The deployment of resources from multiple news outlets — all to produce much the same story — appears to be underpinned by a fear of being marginalized on any given news day. Or put another way, it seems driven by the paramount quest to keep my eyes, my loyalty, my subscripton fixed.

    The internet, not to mention the remote control, has long since minimized the challenge involved in peering into other news camps. Anyone who has clicked through the evening news in Boston, will find the same stories — indeed in nearly the exact same sequence. It is hard not to notice the line of the cookie cutter. Moreover, it is hard not to feel manipulated and underserved. It is also, let’s face it, a tad insulting. It has the effect of putting emphasis on the packaging, more so than the content. More troubling is the tilt (accidental or otherwise) towards group cohesion or even groupthink.

    “In my line of work you gotta keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kinda catapult the propaganda.” – Dubya, May 24, 2005

    Enough said.

  • Jim in Omaha

    Here’s one way to get a fix on which entities are doing actual journalism: Check out your local paper and see how many articles it runs from other news sources. My right leaning Omaha World Herald often reprints NY Times articles, along with some from McClatchey newspapers, in addition to fillers from AP. It NEVER uses Fox as a source of news.

  • millard_fillmore

    John wrote:

    “Winston, evolution has been proven. There is almost certainly no god. Morality evolved and was not imposed upon humanity. Gays deserve the same rights and no less moral than anyone else. Abortion should be a personal choice. Any god vain enough to punish someone for not belieing in him does not deserve to be worshiped.”

    Tell that to the followers of Religion of Peace too, and please don’t self-censor yourself (if you do) when Islam is discussed.

    This is where “leftists” are indeed hypocritical – shout down Christianity and ridicule its beliefs, but either self-censor oneself or support Islam – instead of challenging the beliefs of both monotheistic religions.

  • ThresherK

    The acorn scandal was legit and the Breitbart was legit. [snip--like context matters to you] Andrew Breitbart’s goal was to point out the hypocrisy of NAACP

    Wow. You’re blowing holes in your argument better than anyone else ever could. He is on video saying he wants to take down the left. That’s the makings of a first-class muckraker!

  • michael

    “The liberal New York Times has been effectively countered by the balanced reporting by Fox News. The fact that a majority of Americans are right of center is reinforced by the success of Fox.”

    bhahaha foxs news prime time(or fair and balance),

    O’Reilly Factor, fully biased
    Hannity, fully biased
    Greta, fully biased
    Special Report, fully biased
    Glenn Beck, fully biased
    Fox Reports, Sheppard Smith is about the only person I respect on it

    Lets not forget fox and friends which are borderline retarded. Fair and Balance lol as much as Saudi Arabia is a democracy.


    Tell that to the followers of Religion of Peace too, and please don’t self-censor yourself (if you do) when Islam is discussed. This is where “leftists” are indeed hypocritical – shout down Christianity and ridicule its beliefs, but either self-censor oneself or support Islam – instead of challenging the beliefs of both monotheistic religions.Posted by millard_fillmore

    John never said anything about any specific religion. I only see Christians spouting on this site that we are all gonna be sorry when we die cuz God is gonna get us and if we don’t believe what they believe, the problem is us & not them. Are they that unsecure in their beliefs that they feel they have to shout anyone down who threatens their religion?

    This points to a deeper issue which is many folks appear to be upset because their group is no longer running the show. Religious Conservatives, who in the past routinely suppressed, marginalized, bullied, and defamed minority groups can’t stand the fact that these same groups now have power and threaten their seat of power and, it appears, reality. Maybe if they actually followed the teachings of their religion, more people would be interested in what they are saying. As it is, they name-call and push their agenda like there is no alternative. But, unfortunately, for them, there are other points of view and saying that others, using the same methods,are wrong just doesn’t fly. They no longer have cornered the market on morality and morality no longer hinges on a person’s religious persuasion. Their goal is to once again silence their critics and gather the power for themselves once again. Sorry to tell you folks, but the cat is out of the bag and it isn’t going back in.

  • C

    I don’t want to get into religion, but Islam is the one that is bombing it’s own people and others, is the one that is the most oppressive towards women and other religions and people and yet we bow down to them.
    Why? I don’t get it. Are you afraid of these people? Raise up moderates and stop the crazies. Nobody trusts you anymore. Don’t you get it? Why would anyone trust you when in the name of islam the bombings and killings occur?

  • Betsy Ross

    What’s the difference between watching the news on TV & paying the local cable company & reading the news online & paying the local internet provider (often the local cable company)?

    Of course we ALL want more money. But no one paid for news stories on TV from their house before the internet. Newspapers/magazines are a different thing. But, by gawd, if I pay for an internet publication/journal, there had better not be ONE pop-up on that site, the ads had better not block my view of the text I’m reading or in any way make noise & they had damned well better be relevant to the publication.

    And one more thing… a caller already suggested more copy editors. I wholeheartedly second that! Writers make many grammatical & punctuation errors & they ignore their spellchecker, etc. It’s simply awful to read just about any publication out there these days. Either more editors or better ones. But whatever the case, it must be truly embarrassing for the parents of the writers! I teach English for journalism & I use a lot of articles for my students to find the errors.


    My goodness C, it appears we are quite liberal with the bombs ourselves. And if you want to talk suppressing women, we aren’t that far behind and the Christian Religions routinely marginalize and suppress women. Do they stone them, no, but that doesn’t make them that much better in my view. ANY religion or society that justifies subjugation of women needs to be slapped upside the head.

  • Rob

    I believe it is important to differentiate between news pages and editorial sections. I generally read two rival newspapers each day, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times (and occasionally the Financial Times). The EDITORIAL PAGES of the NY Times definitely has a liberal bias in the same manner as the editorial pages of the WSJ has a conservative bias.

    Anyone who does not concede these two facts is ignoring reality. Regarding the news pages in both newspapers, I believe the NY Times and WSJ are both generally fair (although the NY Times might still occasionally have a left of center bias and the WSJ with a center/right bias). I also find it interesting how the NY Times has struggled to maintain subscribers, whereas the WSJ has been far more successful in this regard. I have not listened to the program yet, but it will be interesting to see if this topic was addressed.

  • pw

    There are fellow NYT subscribers and constant readers here with whom I agree — among a group of talking-pointers who almost certainly don’t read the paper at all or maybe cursorily. Critical though I am of the Times now and then, particularly for its centrist stolidity and its often casual sourcing (and its godawful search engine!), it’s still top dog.

    But the comments here make me want to beg the NYT and On Point to help in the important process of separating cultural reactionaries and radicals from genuine political conservatism when we talk about “conservatives.” The shouters show virtually no knowledge much less understanding of conservatism — as evident in the simple fact that they call themselves conservatives while professing politics that range from reactionary to radical. They like the label “conservative.” Sounds serious, informed! Not. Their scattershot pronouncements and under-informed politics are an embarrassment.

    Even this progressive would love to see genuine conservatives return and take credit for what they have contributed. Republican conservatism was dealt a hard blow in the post-Reagan era when Gingrich took over the House. That was when many of the best and brightest resigned in disgust and the party took a sharp right turn. It’s time for the Grand Old Party to be less hospitable towards the intolerant shouters and make more room for genuine conservatism.

    With any luck, media like the NYT and NPR will be part of the process that restores balance to a battered nation. No wonder they, and other media on both sides of the center take so many hits from those who find “balance” threatening.

  • c

    What the hell are you talking about chris m? If you can honestly say that making women wear head dress, stoning them if they commit adultry, making them not count when it comes to representing themselves in court, forcing marriage, not letting them eat with men in a restaurant, and so many others, are equal to our society then I feel sorry for you. I lived in Saudi Arabia and I know what I’m talking about and this doesn’t happen in other countries that don’t have a theocracy. Islam and gov’t are the same in these countries.

  • John

    Tell that to the followers of Religion of Peace too, and please don’t self-censor yourself (if you do) when Islam is discussed.

    This is where “leftists” are indeed hypocritical – shout down Christianity and ridicule its beliefs, but either self-censor oneself or support Islam – instead of challenging the beliefs of both monotheistic religions. — Posted by millard_fillmore,

    – I do criticize all religions regularly in this forum. Most of the creationists posting here tend to be Christian. My comments last week about headscarves, cartoon riots, and Salman Rushdie were obviously not directed at Christians.


    Here in America:
    In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Homicide Victims by Gender
    That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.2
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Homicide Victims by Gender

    Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
    84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
    Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
    50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

    Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/fvs.pdf

  • f

    I don’t get your point Chris. These numbers may be correct. That isn’t the point. The US gov’t isn’t enforcing laws stating that men are more important and have more say than women. I’m a woman and know the difference between Islamic nations and the US. I’m not making this up.

  • William

    There is nothing wrong with the NYTimes being so liberal. I do wish they would renounce Walter Duranty and return the Pulitzer he received for such disgraceful coverage of Stalin.


    Islamic nations suppress women, a point with which I don’t disagree. But we must also look at our own dismal record regarding rights for women. For certain, American women have more hard-fought “rights” than women in Islamic nations, but we cannot ignore the fact that many American girls and women are mis-treated,abused,and murdered by American men. I cannot find a breakdown of these women killers by religion, but my guess is that Muslims aren’t in the majority here.

    Do strict Mormons make women wear long dresses, keep their hair long, force them into arranged polygomus marriages at young ages and basically treat them as brood mares?
    Do we have a flourishing sex trade where womne are exploited, beaten and killed because they are vulnerable?
    Yup, and that is right here in the good ole USA. And we do very little about it.

    Because it isn’t the norm here makes it ok?
    We bomb, we kill, we supress, but its ok because we are a Christian nation?

  • Chris H

    I feel like the NYtimes has been changing in this current environment. For example, there are a couple opinion writers who continuously repeat the same information for want of personal promotion or partisanship or both. I have books and textbooks by the authors and have studied related subjects, and I am very liberal, and I can’t stand their lack of objectivity. Also, if you go on the Website and look at the most popular articles, you’ll see a bunch of fluff, well written, but fluff. Right now we have an article on massage as no. 1.

  • Jeff B

    Mr. Keller asserts that the NYT is unbiased and they strive to “get it right”. How then can he explain the fact that the Times’ own ombudsman tried for over 6 months to get Paul Krugman to recant his false statements about President Bush’s victory in Florida. Krugman refused, despite the evidence independent work by the Miami Herald and NYT that Bush had in fact beaten Gore in 2000. It was an outright attempt to de-legitimize the Bush presidency and the Times was complicit. It is precisely because the Times does not and often cannot discipline its own liberal columnists that people like me are skeptical of their biases.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Mr. Keller’s tale of the editor’s piece on about how “of course” the NYT is liberal warmed my heart. It did so not by suggesting that the NYT has an economic bias (no socialist rag, the Times) or a political bias (they may favor Dems but not to the extent that FOX favors Reps), but what is natural to a large metropolis with hundreds of cultures thriving together: cultural liberalism, social liberalism, open-mindedness, an understanding, so anathema to the conservative mindset, that there is more than one way to live and that those ways can coexist without undue trouble.

    Here is the heart of my own politics. Yes, I am a socialist, and I expect there to be a great deal of opposition to my position in a country which has for so long been based on capitalism. If you are an economic conservative, then let us say we disagree and let us have a good solid debate about the merits of our positions. But…

    But if you are a social conservative, then let us say we are at war. Your viewpoint is based on fear and loathing of the Other, an intolerance of anyone anywhere who might live differently than you do. You want an end to diversity, a monoculture, and that is viciously antithetical to the fact of the world and to me. If you are a social conservative, by all means hold to your particular culture; like all cultures, it deserves to thrive. But don’t you dare try to impose your culture upon the rest of us through laws that restrict the behavior of others. You can restrict your own damned behavior all you want–leave the rest of us alone!

  • Grady Lee Howard

    How can any media outlet be liberal or conservative in a one party state? In the USA Liberal and Conservative are two halves of the same pie. liberals believe in the kind of uncontrolled and poorly managed growth that makes the wealthy wealthier, while accidentally elevating a few indispensable collaborators. Conservative believe in the inalienability of great property and in the prerogatives of the wealthiest (who occasionally elevate a favored courtesan in an Horatio Alger transaction). There is no possibility of merit in a fully networked imitation of the power holders among the upper middle class. Our charities often amount to nests of naysayers. The New York Times and Murdock’s holding contain the same celebrity sideshows and dust-ups. Politics has been reduced to a sports team mania. People pick a brand and can never admit it is not perfect. Once they have the logo they can’t go back. I’m resigned to standing back on the bank of the Niagara River and watching this old party barge plunge over the falls. Let’s hope the big players are all on board. No media is getting down to the nitty-gritty anymore.

    Dave, may friend, someday we’ll read about Paul Laffoley’s Radiorbit interview in the history texts.
    Non/11 was an inside job just like the Meltdown.

  • Michelle Rowland

    THANK YOU for program this evening! It is a newspaper we all need and many of us cherish for its news, its balance, its incessant curiousity. It is a time when too many of us choose only those news sources whose purveyors agree with us and certainly that is to be regretted. And so we need the Times all the more.

    I subscribe on Saturday & Sunday, check it out at least once a day.

    Thank you both for saying it out loud.

  • Mad dog

    I am a social conservative. I see the fear in your eyes. I hear the trembling in your breath. I see the white underside of your throat. I am poised for the lunge and the kill (metaphorically, of course). My pack and I smell your fear and we smell victory. It is futile to run. We are many and you are few and afraid. Prepare for your end.

  • LBG

    As a representative of the “younger” news consuming generation, I read the print version of the times daily. The truth is I would do a mobile phone (bberry) app but one still needs to read on the subway (where thank goodness we are not yet wireless).
    We need the times for what it provides, which is the opposite of just the headlines or opinion. Keller and staff- please figure out how to make $$ in this online platform age so I don’t lose this extremely valuabel resource!

  • jeffe

    I am a social conservative. I see the fear in your eyes. I hear the trembling in your breath. I see the white underside of your throat. I am poised for the lunge and the kill (metaphorically, of course). My pack and I smell your fear and we smell victory. It is futile to run. We are many and you are few and afraid. Prepare for your end.
    Posted by Mad dog,

    Good to see satire alive and well…
    If this is not a joke, then you need to get a grip.

  • Tabitha

    It’s absolutely not true that “almost everyone” believed Saddam had WMD. Those of us who listened to alternative media during that time heard many scholars and nuclear and Middle East experts dispute those claims. The mainstream media including the NYT refused to give those dissenting voices any time.

    And there are some credible accounts of the NYT bowing to pressure from the Bush administration.

  • Jeff B

    Joshua is a socialist.

    Joshua–please google a picture of the Korean Penisula at night. To me that is the greatest demonstration of the difference between capitalism and socialism/communism for the citizens of a country. North Korea is devoid of light (and starving, by the way). South Korea is lit up like a Christmas tree and among the wealthiest countries on earth.

    Socialism makes everyone poorer. Capitalism makes everyone richer. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    By the way–you might also google a picture of Cuba and compare it with Miami.


  • Doug Clayton

    NYT doesn’t cover all the news they should. Tom, why don’t you show some real courage and get Project Censored on your show?

    New book has just been released.



  • http://victorials.wordpress.com victoria

    Some guy just said he gets all his news in 15 minutes!
    If he thinks he can understand what is going on ANYWHERE in the world in 15 minutes, that just goes to show you what’s happening to our country’s level of discourse…

    I read and listen to a lot of foreign based news sources, and I read my nytimes.
    Without investigative journalists as valued parts of democracy, we are sunk.
    With the kind of shameless mendacity Beck, Limbaugh, et al spout, we are headed for our worst days.
    We need serious news sources for we are in extremely serious times, and if investigative reporters aren’t around to roll back the curtain on corruption, deceit, and fraud, who will do it?
    As for that, if journalists and news organizations aren’t brave enough to ask the difficult questions, like they didn’t during the Bush years, then what are they doing?

    and dang, just when I wanted to be an intern at the nytimes, why does it all have to be falling apart???

  • http://victorials.wordpress.com victoria

    as for maddog,
    we’re not scared, we’re just nicer than you, and hoping you’ll come back to your humanity before it’s too late for all of us -

  • https://shaduc.wordpress.com/ sam liu

    i pay for wsj, i paid for nytimes.com, i wouldn’t mind paying for a couple of other print newspapers and the complete online versions.

    i also rely on yahoo, google, etc for a fuller perspective

  • sam liu

    call me cheap

    but when i’m in the sf bay area, i pick up weekday print copies of wsj and sj mercurynews, sometimes ny times.

    i receive the sunday sj mercurynews and on occasion sunday ny times. i appreciate the convenience and speed of flipping through the pages.

    online does not have such an experience

  • sam liu

    call me cheap

    but when i’m in the sf bay area, i pick up weekday print copies of wsj and sj mercurynews, sometimes ny times at the train station.

    i receive the sunday sj mercurynews and on occasion sunday ny times. i appreciate the convenience and speed of flipping through the pages.

    online does not have such an experience

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Oooh, that mad dog.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Jeff B,

    never in a million years would I hold up North Korea or Cuba as shining examples of socialism. (Cuba’s medical system is good, but that’s about it.) North Korea is not “socialist” by my lights; it’s totalitarian, and totalitarianism need never have been wedded to economic socialism. As a social liberal, you should already understand that I’m not impressed by totalitarianism, which is all about monoculture. Controlling economics is not the same thing as controlling what people say and read and think and with whom they have sex and what drugs they enjoy … which is the point of social conservatism.

    I prefer the social democratic models of Northern Europe as a good direction for the future.

  • http://onpointradio.org Lynne Supporter

    In my twenty-five year career as a senior researcher I have always found that the New York Times is considered the national historic record and is archived as such in major libraries.


  • Tony McConnell

    This is the first time I’ve heard this program. I am a conservative. The show was good. The only problem I had is when the NY Times revenue, circulation, and future prospects are down-to say that the NY Times will survive seems Pollyannish.

  • Rob L

    Just remember, in the run up to the Iraq war, when there was still time to turn back from that disastrous multi-trillion dollar endeavor, the NYTimes marched hand-in-hand with any paper owned by Rupert Murdoch in the claims that WMD were there, and that the war was the only possibility.

    They may be more sensible day-to-day than Fox. But they still have their own agenda, and it’s the agenda of the oligarchs. They will never question whether we need tariffs to correct trade imbalances – because that would bite the oligarchs. They will always endorse bank bailouts – because that benefits the oligarchs. They will be sensible enough to keep their “serious high minded” readership – until the issue threatens the people in charge, and then they will close ranks like every other media outlet.

  • Rob L

    As a footnote, on February 8th, Bill Keller wrote “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club” endorsing the Iraq war. Of course not a mention of that on the show today – it’s all about Judith Miller, and she’s gone. Down the memory hole.

    But Bill Keller’s still around. Actually he’s now the guy in charge. No one can say it doesn’t pay to lie for the oligarchs.

  • Dennis Byrne

    I think the NY Times has been closer to the truth in their reporting than any right wing newspaper. There are so many lies put out by the right it is hard to sort out.
    The best reporters were taught to be objective and truthful. The right is neither one of those, and our country is really confused and divided because of this propaganda.
    I grew up with the reporting of Walter Cronkite and a few good newspapers. Now we have more propaganda than
    I ever thought cxould seep into our news.

  • http://challenginglachesis.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    Freedom of the presses, as long as the service providers don’t censor content.

  • Chad

    Three example of why so much vitrol to the Times: Reporting on Bush’s National Guard record, the Summerville neighborhood of Atlanta, and most recently, misrepresentaion of WABE in Atlanta. All are examples of either incomplete, or selective reporting. All indicative of the conscious misrepresentation of the news by the Times.

Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

Sep 2, 2014
Confederate spymaster Rose O'Neal Greenhow, pictured with her daughter "Little" Rose in Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison in 1862. (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

True stories of daring women during the Civil War. Best-selling author Karen Abbott shares their exploits in a new book: “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.”

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

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