NY Slimes Public Editor disagrees with Joel

Even the NY Slimes public editor disagrees with Joel.


WHAT some call opinion, others call interpretive journalism - a label as
opaque as the practice. Call it what you will, nothing has generated more
reader indignation in the past few weeks than when it has appeared on a news

The morphing of news has stuck in some readers' craw for a long time, and
all three of The Times's previous public editors dealt with the issue. But I
believe the phenomenon is accelerating and has the potential to redefine the

It's not that editors have decided to abandon the traditional virtues of
objective journalism. But the Times news pages increasingly are home to
"voices," not merely reportage, as editors commission work bearing the
author's distinctive point of view. And it is happening during the clamor of
the Internet age, when such voices are the only ones that seem to rise above
the din.

"How could anyone possibly think this piece belonged in a news section?"
asked one reader, Donald Johnson, about a "Political Times" column by Matt

[... snipped ... for guess who]

When I asked Matt Bai about his Aug. 12 "Political Times" column on
Representative Paul Ryan - the one Mr. Johnson criticized - he said: "I
guess my column is part of a broader effort to take some chances in the
paper and explore different formats for a new era. I think that represents a
great and exciting trend for the paper; none of us can afford to think in
old rubrics for new generations of readers."