Isabelle Roughol – The J junkie

The tribulations of a young journalist and writer looking for work

NYT, please, surprise me

with one comment

Update Jan. 31: Ok, I’ve been unfair to the Times. I thought of it, from my cute Midwestern town, as a national paper. I forgot – shame on me – that it is also New York City’s hometown paper. As such, there was one gutsy, surprising thing about the Times’ presidential endorsements: its harsh language against NYC’s former mayor Rudolf Giuliani.

The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.

Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking.

Ouch. (And it goes on and on.)

Surprising maybe isn’t quite the word; many New Yorkers don’t see in Giuliani the 9-11 hero hailed by the national media. They remember more his shady associations and the city’s dysfunctions. But the language is strong nonetheless and such a disapproval from your hometown paper has got to hurt a campaign.

So, mea culpa my dear Times, at least partly. And you announced the launch of a text messaging service. Now, that’s up-and-coming technology.

By now you must have heard since you’re all wired journalists; the New York Times editorial board announced earlier today its picks for the presidential nominations. Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, and for the Republicans John McCaine (a name that cracks up everyone back home, where McCaine is a famous brand of ready-made French fries, not a senator.)

Wow, NYT, I am so surprised. You made me jump in my seat. Seriously.

Ok, so maybe it’s not the role of the New York Times to support a Joe Biden-Ron Paul race, but I had wished for a little more originality. I know we’re talking about the gray lady but come on, get me excited. Please. Your Web site videos are already light years behind the Post, and your podcasts never keep my attention.

Sure, the reporting blows me away on a regular basis. I also have a lot of respect for a copy desk that can write the most cryptic headlines and still get people to click on the hyperlinks. But the most exciting thing the Times has brought me lately was a private walk through its Pulitzer hallway in the old newsroom last spring; that’s not something you share with the rest of the readers.

I want to be excited like when I was awaiting EveryBlock’s launch. I want to be surprised. What have you got coming up? (Rumor has it, it’s good.)

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Written by Isabelle Roughol

Friday, 25 January, 2008 at 04:03

Posted in Media business

One Response

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  1. […] thought I had been harsh to the Times the other day; this guy has got an axe to grind. Ouch. That’s making me feel bad about this […]


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