December 28, 2017

Polls show Americans distrust the media. But talk to them, and it’s a very different story”: Former New York Times public editor and WaPo columnist Margaret Sullivan goes to the trouble of actually doing the legwork that so many pundits promised but failed to do post-election. The takeaway is crisply honest, and isn’t going to make many friends in newsrooms still in denial:

“We need to heed complaints about the blending of news and opinion, and to make it clear which is which. We need to focus more intently — and more engagingly — on subjects that matter most to ordinary people’s lives, and to calm down about White House intrigue and Trump’s every tweet. And we need to stamp out the snarky attitude that seems to brag, “I’m smarter than my audience.” Perhaps most important, we need to be much more transparent — willing to explain our work, and own up to our inevitable mistakes.”

Fortunately, Sullivan is an old school journalist who doesn’t put popularity ahead of honest analysis.

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