The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That's because -- as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it -- 'the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.'
The New York Times is the most important newsgathering source in the U.S. and, in that capacity, a public trust in which we all have an interest. Times readers deserve a more detailed analysis of the quarterly report and the company's strategies.
Arthur Brisbane left his job as the public editor of the New York Times this past week, deciding before leaving to double the degree of damage he has done to that institution -- and to the newspaper business itself, of which the Times is the unchallenged leader.
In accepting her position, Margaret Sullivan speaks of the need for transparency, but we also need a little more of a transgressive and disruptive public editor who sees larger patterns and is aware of the continuous compromises made to keep the Times afloat.
The New York Times' Public Editor's newest work, "The View From The Critic's Seat," is a disappointment. While written with Brisbane's usual clarity, it sets up a premise and then utterly fails to address it.
January has not been a good month for media ombudsmen, as the in-house press analysts at our two leading newspapers have both come under attack for writing lazy, ill-considered commentaries that seemed to confirm the views of their most strident critics.
Okay, I'm not in the news business, and I'm not going to tell anyone how to do their job. However, it'd be good to have news reporting that I could trust again, and there's evidence that fact-checking is an idea whose time has come.