Debate "Housekeeping" (04:34)
John Donvan provides the framework for the debate on "The New York Times," instructs the audience to vote, and introduces panelists.
Opening Statements For: Batya Ungar-Sargon (04:10)
"Newsweek Magazine" Deputy Opinion Editor and Author Ungar-Sargon states that sometimes, "The New York Times" produces excellent journalism and is a digital success story but there have been several missteps. Leadership response to social media is an example of the paper's new iteration.
Opening Statements Against: Frank Sesno (04:39)
Former CNN Washington Bureau Chief and School of Media and Public Affairs Director Sesno states that "The New York Times" must navigate several aspects including good/fair journalism, innovative storytelling, and the business model. He cites several examples in support of the newspaper.
Opening Statements For: Yascha Mounk (04:25)
Johns Hopkins University Professor and Author Mounk states that "The New York Times" is one of the most important institutions in the U.S. and worries that three main changes it has recently made detract from its standing as a newspaper of record. "Newspapers have become a way of managing the narrative."
Opening Statements Against: Virginia Heffernan (04:58)
"Wired Magazine" Cultural Columnist Heffernan disputes claims that "The New York Times" is a newspaper directed at the elite. She discusses the obituary of Mary Tyler Moore and following the paper's best practices. She agrees "The Times" deserves criticism but that it can handle it.
"Woke" Ideology (07:35)
Donvan summarizes opening statements. Sesno states "The Times" faces more pressure and agitation but seeks to address challenges and broaden coverage. Ungar-Sargon counters that diversity is a class problem in the newsroom and that "wokeness" is not a result of a diverse workforce.
Defunding the Police (03:42)
Heffernan counters claims about the portrait of Trump supporters in "The Times" and challenges panelists to find an op-ed piece directly arguing for defunding. Mounk cites a current article in "The Times" and argues the importance of diverse perspectives. Heffernan cites "The Times" reporting on sexual allegations against Joe Biden.
Presidential Coverage (08:59)
Ungar-Sargon states "The Times" has not given Biden and Donald Trump the same kind of coverage. Sesno counters that Trump was "not just another president." Mounk argues presidents should be covered by the same standards. Panelists discuss the COVID-19 lab leak story.
News Coverage (08:46)
Ungar-Sargon believes the current business model of "The Times" is corrosive to journalistic values. Mounk trusts "The Times" when its coverage is away from partisan topics. Panelists debate "The Times" running a Trump supporter op-ed piece prior to the election and actual news coverage.
Closing Statements For: Ungar-Sargon (02:25)
ProjectFeel asks readers to rank how articles make them feel and to what degree. "The Times" data science team then creates a machine learning algorithm that they use to sell to advertisers. Evoking strong emotions is successful for journalism and business.
Closing Statements Against: Sesno (02:17)
Over the last 10 years, "The Times" has covered a variety of topics and won many Pulitzer Prizes. Balance in the op-ed pages and elsewhere is an ongoing process but "The Times" has not fundamentally lost its way.
Closing Statements For: Mounk (02:31)
"The Times" publishes an article about Amelie Wen Zhao pulling her debut novel after accusations of racism. The institution attempts to dramatize moral clarity over objectivity, targeting its progressive core readers.
Closing Statements Against: Heffernan (02:45)
Heffernan considers the proponents' definition of "its way" in terms of the debate resolution. "The Times" has been following its mandate of seeking the truth and making it understandable to readers.
Debate Voting (01:45)
Donvan instructs the audience to vote on "The New York Times" and thanks participants and viewers.
Credits: The New York Times Has Lost Its Way (00:08)
Credits: The New York Times Has Lost Its Way
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