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Should the dying Gray Lady stop writing about science?

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From Alex Berezow, founding editor at Real Clear Science:

What has gone so wrong for the NYT? Many things are to blame. The paper’s leftish editorial page is out of step with a large portion of the American public. A high-profile scandal, in which journalist Jayson Blair was caught fabricating articles, damaged its credibility. The biggest factor, however, is the rise of credible challengers — both print and digital — that simply do better journalism. There is little incentive to spend money to read the NYT when superior news coverage (and more sensible editorializing) can be found elsewhere.

The NYT’s science coverage is particularly galling. While the paper does employ a staff of decent journalists (including several excellent writers, such as Carl Zimmer and John Tierney), its overall science coverage is trite. Other outlets cover the same stories (and many more), in ways that are both more in-depth and more interesting. (They are also usually free to read.) Worst of all, too much of NYT’s science journalism is egregiously wrong. More.

Gee, they used to only say that about fringe outfits like us.

A list of examples of questionable coverage follows, then:

For our sake as well as their own, the NYT ought to restrict science writing to only those staff members capable of it. However, if the NYT fails to rectify this problem and continues to demonstrate an inability to meet the minimal standards of acceptable scientific discourse, then maybe it ought to consider axing its science coverage completely.

Either do it right, or don’t do it at all.

Make no mistake, the Gray Lady is dying. It’s not just financial losses, staff layoffs, fake coverage, and self-absorption. Her role is much less necessary in the age of the Internet. Nobody who really wants to know what is going on is reading these red-ink-o-saurs anyway.

If we really want to know what’s going on at the Large Hadron Collider, for example, we can go to the site. If we are not sure who to trust, there are responsible non-PR views out there.

As for crackpot views, aw, get real. If we wouldn’t buy and read the tabloid at the checkout counter (space aliens land on White House lawn; Marilyn Monroe was really a man … ), why can’t we be trusted to figure out what’s real on our own? Well, we can and we do.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG And that is what is killing the New York Times. So hey, the Gray Lady can go under or not. Not sure it’s a big issue. But, speaking of big issues … Pig! Pig! You ate all the chocolate pretzels again!

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6 Replies to “Should the dying Gray Lady stop writing about science?

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Make no mistake, the Gray Lady is dying. It’s not just financial losses, staff layoffs, fake coverage, and self-absorption. Her role is much less necessary in the age of the Internet. Nobody who really wants to know what is going on is reading these red-ink-o-saurs anyway.

    Long ago it was the pride of NY City – at least for a lot of people. If you wanted to act like you were cultured or part of the New York intellectual set, you had to read the Gray Lady. One thing I love about ID and even more, creationism, is that it is so hated by that crowd. It’s not just hated, it physically sickens them. Probably the sum total of their real knowledge about evolution comes from Spencer Tracy’s film — and some sound-bytes from Richard Dawkins.

    I won’t miss the NY Times. If it was a good newspaper I would — but today it’s just a vehicle for narcissism and empty cultural values.

  2. 2
    velikovskys says:

    From the article:
    ” Reliance on fringe, pseudoscientific sources has become something of a trend at the NYT. “

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Aside from all ideology, the NYTimes is just plain mediocre. Low quality stuff.

    Back in the 80s when it became available nationally, I tried reading it for a while. At that time I wasn’t especially political, but I got disgusted with the bad proofreading and sloppy grammar.

    My hometown paper in Enid had better editing and writing than the NYTimes.

  4. 4
    wd400 says:

    Had to laugh at this

    As for crackpot views, aw, get real. If we wouldn’t buy and read the tabloid at the checkout counter (space aliens land on White House lawn; Marilyn Monroe was really a man … ), why can’t we be trusted to figure out what’s real on our own?

    Coming so shortly after this

  5. 5
    not_querius says:

    Should the dying Gray Lady stop writing about science?

    A more relevant question:

    SHOULD UNCOMMON DESCENT START WRITING ABOUT SCIENCE?</b<

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    if its dying then good riddence. Its been a enemy to America, Christiandom, and good guys everywhere. Its had the wrong ideas and agendas for so long.
    Its a reflection on the people who write it. They were dumb and bad.

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