There is a lot to cheer in the New York Times’ response to recent criticisms from the Internet and elsewhere reported today under the paper’s headline “Times Panel Proposes Steps to Build Credibility“. Particularly to be applauded is the new policy on anonymous sources. Evidently they are being downgraded and often expunged, as they should be.
But I hope the Times does not achieve the resurrection it seeks. And my reason is simple – no newspaper or media outlet should ever have the reputation, and therefore the power, the Times had. It’s not good for the free flow of ideas or the search for truth. Blogs entirely replacing newspapers (an absurd idea anyway) wouldn’t be good for our democracy either. A thousand flowers are blooming, as Chairman Mao (right for once) said. Let’s keep it that way.