An example of Western quality journalism’s decay and adaptation to political correctness.
January 3, 2021
Many have considered the New York Times one of the finest pieces of journalism anywhere. In 1971, it had the courage to publish The Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg which revealed how the US, in reality, conducted its war on Vietnam – i.e. to serve in the role of being a critic of powers that be and revealing lies and things never told in public.
When I was younger, the NYT and the International Herald Tribune, were treasures if you wanted to know about the world. I remember buying the Sunday edition when visiting New York. There were many sections and I could do with less, but it the main ones offered page after page of high-quality reading – the biggest ever published on a Sunday weighing over 5 kilos and counting 1600+ pages.
Not a newspaper like any other – no, in a class of its own. More abut it since it was established in 1851 on Wikipedia.
Fifty years after the Pentagon Papers, where is it?
Well, you get the gist by reading how the New York Times explains what Russia and Putin is about in its “Search” for a new Russia correspondent.
Below, I’ve copied the full text as one may assume that that text will disappear when it has found the person it wants:
• Russia Correspondent
◦ Moscow, Russia
“Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.
It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.
If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.
We are eager to hear from those interested in taking on one of the most legendary postings at The Times, a seat occupied by the likes of Bill Keller, Serge Schmemann, Hedrick Smith, Clifford Levy and Ellen Barry. We are looking for someone who will embrace the prospect of traversing 11 time zones to track a populace that is growing increasingly frustrated with an economy dragged down by corruption, cronyism and excessive reliance on natural resources. This posting offers the chance to chronicle the continuing reign of one of the world’s most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin. This beat also covers the incredible diversity and variety of the lands of the former Soviet Union. The correspondent can range from Estonia (with its close ties to Scandinavia) to Kyrgyzstan (which has close ties to China).
Not to mention, Putin ushered in changes to the constitution, so he will likely stay in power for many years to come.
And, of course, we are on the cusp of a new, less Putin-friendly president in the US, which should only raise the temperature between Washington and Moscow.
The successful candidate should have:
◦ Experience covering a beat
◦ Excellent writing skills
◦ Knowledge of Russia and the former Soviet republics
◦ Fluency in Russian is preferred
◦ Self driven, trustworthy, independent and intrepid
◦ Excellent news judgement
◦ A good digital sense with a knack for different types of storytelling
Those interested should apply via Workday. The New York Times is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce, one that reflects the varied global community we serve. Our journalism and the products we build in the service of that journalism greatly benefit from a range of perspectives, which can only come from diversity of all types, across our ranks, at all levels of the organization. Achieving true diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing for our business. So we strongly encourage women, veterans, people with disabilities, people of color and gender nonconforming candidates to apply.
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The description of – well, not the job but of Russia – is extremely revealing for the political culture that obviously exists in the NYT Editorial offices and the board room. Such a text could not go against the editorial line – or values or ideology – that is today’s New York Times.
The person it will choose will have to share that view of Russia and in her or his correspondent role reinforce the perception expressed in this text – which I would not hesitate to characterise as first-class propagandistic and devoid of reference to quality journalism’s ideals of proper objective investigation and unbiased reporting.
Have this in your mind when, next, you browse the New York Times in general or read an article about Russia in it.
Or, better, boycott it as an example of the general decay of the “free” Western (mainstream) press. OK, there are good articles in the NYT too and excellent columnists, but still…
And compare this search text with the rest, it’s conceited self-image.
This description of Russia is probably worse than the one the old Pravda – meaning truth the organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – maintained of the United States.
Useful – something you haven’t seen elsewhere? Then reward TFF, please