Same ole' song and dance. Sort of.

I just came across this post from Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and co-owner of 2929 Entertainment (who own the Landmark theater chain and produced the movie "Good Night and Good Luck", among others). It details a recent experience he had as the subject of a New York Times piece. It's pretty amazing to see all of the communication that passes between Cuban and Randall Stross, the author of the piece, and then the end result.

It's pretty blatant that Stross had a good idea of what kind of article he wanted to write, how he wanted to portray Cuban's position in the movie/distribution industry, and what value he placed on the Cuban's perspective. To some degree, the tone of the article (which, if you don't feel like reading it, is bitchy) is to be expected, but when compared to the dialogue that preceded it, seems extreme.

Cuban followed up his post with this:

the more time i spent on my last blog entry, the more it became apparent i wanted to ask this question and see the comments to this blog, and inevitable commentary around the blogosphere and in traditional digital and analog media..

even a year ago, this would have seemed like a preposterous question.

Given the admitted rush job by Randall Stross for the Sunday NY Times Business column that I discussed in my last blog entry, along with my previous experiences with that paper, i dont think it is preposterous any longer.

Who has higher editorial and reporting standards. Your typical fulltime blogger, or the NY Times ?

Who puts more effort into researching their articles ?

Who conveys more depth ?

The NY Times is obviously feeling some financial pain and cutting back. Costs impact the amount of space they can provide for any article, or for all content as a whole. Bloggers do not have that limitation. I can write as many pages as i like.

The NY Times is limited by deadlines. They have to get to print and get the product out the door. Bloggers do not.

Costs and deadlines limit the amount of resources that can be applied to any given article for both bloggers and the NY Times. Who is more constrained as a result ?

This has nothing to do with bias, per se, but it does have to do with the preconcieved notions of journalists. You may as well extrapolate from here... but I can't help but think of how many pieces of good news I've heard from Iraq via the NYT. Hmmm, I think I know the answer to Cuban's question...

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Yeah, it amazes me in the last 3 years how much the NYTimes reputation has declined. I remember listening to a program on NPR in 2002 which coincided with some NYT milestone (anniversary?) and hearing various famous journalist guests gush about how the Times is the benchmark by which all journalism should be judged. Before they were just biased, but now their reporting is downright reckless. I think if a similar program was aired today, even on NPR, I think if any guests made similar assertions people would assume they recently suffered a head injury. It’s now a few escort adds away from being the Village Voice.