Talk:The New York Times

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former good articleThe New York Times was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
October 16, 2008Good article nomineeListed
February 26, 2018Good article reassessmentDelisted
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on September 18, 2004, June 13, 2009, September 18, 2014, and September 18, 2019.
Current status: Delisted good article
WikiProject iconVital articles: Level 4 / Society and social sciences C‑class
WikiProject iconThe New York Times has been listed as a level-4 vital article in Society. If you can improve it, please do.
CThis article has been rated as C-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.


A few edits have been made recently that add to the first sentence of the article that NYT is liberal. Is this accurate or do we need consensus before we can add this claim? X-Editor (talk) 14:04, 5 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe this is the most recent edit in question. The Fordham ref looks like a blog, whose author conflates the NYT with National Geographic magazine for rhetorical effect, with some handwaving about how NYT readers ostensibly expect it to be "sensitive about notions of language and power". That's an essay, not a source for the paper's editorial slant. The CJR ref looks like a Marxist's complaint that the NYT doesn't lean far enough to the left. Neither of those refs seems like a solid definitive source for the claim that the Times is a "liberal" paper.
If this discussion is going to get anywhere, the first thing to do is reach agreement on a working definition of "liberal" in this context. Just plain Bill (talk) 14:31, 5 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Just plain Bill: I was able to find this article from WaPo that says that NYT’s audience is more liberal according to Pew research, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the content in NYT itself is liberal. X-Editor (talk) 19:31, 5 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That 2014 Pew study shows up on media article talk pages every so often, but extrapolating from an audience survey to saying, in Wikipedia's voice in the first sentence of the lead, that a publication has a "liberal" editorial slant is more of a stretch than WP policy allows. Just plain Bill (talk) 12:42, 6 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Just plain Bill: Agreed. X-Editor (talk) 13:01, 6 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've reverted. Consensus for such a characterization should be obtained on the talk page since it's historically been a controversial thing. Eddie891 Talk Work 14:54, 5 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Left or Left-center would be an appropriate description of the current paper. Keep in mind they've never endorsed a Republican Presidential candidate.
[1] (just 3 days after this discussion)
I mean I can go on, but these are all clear indications of leftward bias. There's no need to omit it. The overall facts are generally accurate, but the manner of publication is an issue. Buffs (talk) 22:03, 2 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Buffs: Some of the sources you have provided are unreliable, but you would still need to get consensus first for claiming that the NYT is left or leaning left based on the reliable sources you have provided. X-Editor (talk) 05:31, 4 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Those are almost all unreliable sources (New York Post, Media Bias Fact Check, Allsides, Adfontes, the Heritage foundation, a student paper, Fox on politics), or opinion pieces (the piece, the Reason piece, the heritage piece, the WSJ piece), or in some cases opinion pieces from unreliable sources. Most of them are also severely biased (The Post, Fox, WSJ, the Heritage Foundation, Reason). None of them are usable for statements of fact in the article voice. --Aquillion (talk) 13:42, 4 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"People don't feel that way"
"Here are some examples of how they feel"
"Those aren't reliable sources"
"How aren't they reliable sources? That's LITERALLY them saying how they feel"
  • Does this mean they are 100% accurate across the country? Of course not. But that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Buffs (talk) 15:59, 6 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It was not Aquillion who "unilaterally decided that they are untrustworthy" but consensus through Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources. They are not reliable because they may lack fact-checking, get key and uncontroversial facts wrong, etc. There may well be a liberal bias but certainly not in the way you interpret it or in a left-wing way, and most generally reliable sources are able to remain reliable because their bias does not affect them to get most things right. All sources are biased but the ones you used are either self-published, lack fact-checking, and their bias affect them in a much bigger way that simply does not make them reliable for facts. Davide King (talk) 03:50, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "there may be a liberal bias...but not in a left-wing way"? DenverCoder9 (talk) 08:19, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Is the New York Times a liberal newspaper? Of course it is." This quote is taken from Daniel Okrent in a New York Times editorial. The paper itself claims to be liberal; I don't understand the reticence to use a label that the newspaper uses to describe itself. ( I note that Blaze Media is properly characterized as a conservative media company, and Pod Save America is properly characterized as a liberal political podcast. Why should Wikipedia refrain from using these labels when appropriate? Other evidence:
Two sentences after "Of course it is [liberal]" Okrent addresses criticism of the paper from the left. If you want to call the New York Times "liberal", that would be fair. However, do not conflate that with the left. (talk) 02:53, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"liberal" and "left" generally refer to "Democratic" in the United States. Are you saying you'd agree to add "liberal" to the lede? DenverCoder9 (talk) 08:20, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, Allsides characterizes the paper as "Lean Left". I suggest we add something along those lines to the lede. Pakbelang (talk) 23:26, 6 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SPECIFICO please comment. Pakbelang (talk) 23:54, 21 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My view is that such labels are frequently misleading and iimprecise. The Times' editorials may be liberal but readers are likely to think we are (baselessly) saying its news reporting is biased. So I don't support such a description in the lead. SPECIFICO talk 02:42, 22 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your worry about readers not understanding the literal interpretation of the text is not relevant. Many, many news organizations have their political slant listed in the lede. DenverCoder9 (talk) 03:15, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The news reporting is not documented by RS as having such a "slant". SPECIFICO talk 13:01, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It absolutely is: moreover, sources at Times have said as much.
1. When it became clear that there is good evidence that the Times leans to the Democratic Party (point 1), you brought up a separate point about being misleading (point 2).
2. I'm speaking to the substantive point (point 2) you attempted to make about being misleading.
3. You ignore this, and switch points again rather engaging in substantive discussion about point 2.
You are toggling between objections, unable to justify any of them. 17:41, 26 August 2023
This is not substantive discussion. (UTC) DenverCoder9 (talk) 17:41, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I want to offer my summary of the discussion so far about adding the possibly-true fact "the New York Times has a liberal slant" to the lede (statement X)
1. No editors have offered reliable sources against statement X
2. The debate has been purely about the reliability of sources corroborating statement X
3. Editors for inclusion have stated and shown reliable sources
4. Editors against inclusion have stated that corroborating sources are "almost all unreliable", not that there are no reliable sources.
On almost any other page, this is well past the point statement X would have been included. DenverCoder9 (talk) 18:02, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More reliable sources:
The New York Times is generally regarded as having a liberal slant. DenverCoder9 (talk) 18:44, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support adding a short sentence along the lines mentioned by @SPECIFICO: The Times' editorials have been characterised as tending to "lean left" (using the sources cited by @Denvercoder9. We can also add something along the lines that its news reporting is considered to be reliable. Pakbelang (talk) 00:28, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I second your original suggestion of adding "lean left" to the lede and not limiting the discussion of slant in the body to editorials.
Many of these reliable sources do not limit their analysis to the editorial section.
It is a broad point about the Times coverage. DenverCoder9 (talk) 15:46, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What sources do you have for your assertion? SPECIFICO talk 23:28, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Financial status of the company?[edit]

Might be nice to delve a bit into the profitability of the company. As that's missing, but it would be interesting to know how much they earn as they are a paywall news company. CaribDigita (talk) 09:27, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. This is especially interesting because they were quite profitable before social media, dipped significantly in the mid-2010s before they figured out a business model for the digital age, and are now earning significant revenue. DenverCoder9 (talk) 17:42, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Excessive blockquotes in the controversy section[edit]

The controversy section has no fewer than six blockquotes. Most of these are not individually significant quotes; five out of the six are WP:PRIMARY quotes to the NYT itself with no secondary source - largely to opinion pieces. While an editor presumably felt that these were significant because they reflected the opinions of people working at the Times, we don't need five fairly massive blockquotes. In one case we have two blockquotes to the same person from the same article! Doing so (in the absence of any secondary coverage) places undue emphasis on the opinions of what is ultimately just a few individuals. I don't think that these opinions necessarily need to be excluded entirely (although in a few cases they smack of WP:RECENTISM), but we can summarize them in one sentence each rather than allowing one or two voices to dominate entire sections. --Aquillion (talk) 10:55, 24 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. I feel that this is appropriate. This is tendentious editing that you've been trying to remove for a while. DenverCoder9 (talk) 08:21, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"now colloquially referred to as the morgue."[[edit]

Incorrectly implies that "the morgue" was called something else "then" or "at some other time". Which is false, and not supported by the reference.

Also, of course, Anada didn't create the photo library, and the the morgue wasn't created by the addition of the photo library to Anada's morgue. For more information and references, see The_New_York_Times_Archival_Library (talk) 21:53, 4 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@ (talk) 12:43, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The History section of this article is incredibly vague. I started a complete rewrite over at User:ElijahPepe/The New York Times. elijahpepe@wikipedia (he/him) 20:48, 21 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rowling, citekill, recentism[edit]

With major edits my summaries are always detailed and extend all the way to the character limit, as I did when I cleared most of the junk on the Rowling letters. User:Snokalok reverts this with a summary that it was "Well sourced, relevant consensus material blanked without reason."

It should go without saying that if one is not going to read an edit summary, then they should not touch the edit. I read every single source in that section, checked the history on the section (added by Snokalok in January and February 2023) and checked the Talk page. The consensus, which Snokalok apparently agreed to above, is that WP:RECENTISM holds and that sources on controversies should not just be a string of (relative) junk. Let me reiterate from my summary with more detail: the paragraph misquotes and misplaces attribution as is, with WP:CITEKILL scrambling which source is actually being cited and cluttering the reader with rehashes of the same thing, but with worse takes. Only the Telegraph and The Hill seem to say things that are actually being referenced in the paragraph. What does adding a Mary Sue article bring? It's just an opinion piece that quotes Twitter takes from nobodies, with no original interviews and linking to the same articles the others do. Just because it's considered in general an RS (which doesn't make every article an RS in every case, btw), does not mean that such citations should be thrown in whenever and wherever an editor feels like. Quality over quantity.

On to the NYT internal memo: to understand why this needs some elevated source for notability (like if it were to trigger a walkout or something) one needs the background that this is taught as basic journalism ethics and is the same policy for every mainstream news organization. NPR in 2021 changed its protesting policy to allow case-by-case consideration. While the issue is often raised in academic journalism (this quotes AP policy btw), NPR relaxed its policy to a greater extent than almost any other major outlet. Maybe readers understand this or maybe not, but the point is that there has to be a greater standard for talking about a recent memo reiterating universal industry ethics standards than simply Twitter rage. SamuelRiv (talk) 20:08, 12 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Right, it's 2am but let's do this:
"With major edits my summaries are always detailed and extend all the way to the character limit,"
And yet you didn't actually say anything of relevance. A paragraph break a misquote does not make, and it doesn't matter if the quote is him restating the NYT ethics policy, the fact is, that's the quote, and it's relevant. While we're at it, we might as well blank any article that quotes the word "grey" as "gray". If you feel the paragraph break is that relevant, then add it in.
"What does adding a Mary Sue article bring? It's just an opinion piece that quotes Twitter takes from nobodies"
Further RSP source coverage adds notability, something you clearly seemed to feel was lacking given that your edit summary said only the Telegraph made mention of the Times quote. If you like, I can fetch sources more suitable to your tastes. The Guardian and The Independent off the top of my head, but I didn't want to overcite.
"On to the NYT internal memo: to understand why this needs some elevated source for notability (like if it were to trigger a walkout or something) one needs the background that this is taught as basic journalism ethics and is the same policy for every mainstream news organization"
Right, but the fact that it's being invoked here to shut down an open letter criticizing the paper's coverage is still incredibly relevant, and the sources agree. If this was something that wasn't being talked about in the cited sources, I might agree with it being WP:Synth or WP:OR, but numerous sources clearly made relevant mention of that, and in all honesty it is quite relevant. Not to mention, that if we're discussing criticism of the paper, it's only fair to include their response per WP:NPOV, and that's what we've done. Snokalok (talk) 05:46, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Addendum: The presumably trained journalists who wrote the articles in the first place, seemed to find it relevant all the same. Snokalok (talk) 05:50, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right I couldn't sleep so I decided to add more RSP citations featuring both the op-ed and the relevant NYT response. I added in The Independent, The Guardian, and PinkNews. Feel free to go over them yourself, but I think my point stands. This is something the journalists reporting on the matter found relevant. The anecdotal argument of "This is something taught in journalism classes" doesn't hold without a counter, and even if that is true, it doesn't change the established relevance of its deployment here. Snokalok (talk) 07:26, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:CITEKILL: there are nine citations on two separate sentences. Pick at maximum three sources you want to keep for each (more like two if you have respect for the reader and other editors) -- that's the absolute limit to what any editor here should be expected to read before I'll restore my edit (which again, was careful, after reading every source at the time, and not "blanking"). If you suggest that new sources add a "counter" to me directly, then quote it here or tell me exactly which source has it and where to find it.
Notability of a source or event means it gets a wiki article. RSP means a citation doesn't get deleted outright because the source is unreliable. That's all those terms mean. It doesn't mean you get to drop in citations from those sites whenever you want and declare them sacrosanct if someone removes them.
We're not in the business of criticizing the paper. We put up a curated selection of information with attention to WP policies and guidelines (i.e., what an editor does). In particular, per prior consensus, we're not indiscriminately dumping recent news articles. SamuelRiv (talk) 07:48, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Pick at maximum three sources you want to keep for each (more like two if you have respect for the reader and other editors)"
As you wish. I'll comment again when I've finished trimming the citations. Also I may pass out at some point in the next two hours also, so kindly give it a second.
"Notability of a source or event means it gets a wiki article. RSP means a citation doesn't get deleted outright because the source is unreliable."
I don't disagree that RSP doesn't mean sacrosanct, the entire takeaway from this section that we're disputing is that even The New York Times can't be blindly trusted. But for disputes involving notability of information and due weight, RSP sources count as generally valid examples of such (in addition to the obvious question of reliability).
I *do* disagree with the 'don't get immediately deleted' comment's implication that RSP sources are the only ones that can be used, as a look over virtually any article that's not a BLP or similar will find sources not listed in the WP:RSP page being used for all sorts of claims. RSP just means it's been thoroughly discussed and vetted by the community as a good source.
"We're not in the business of criticizing the paper. We put up a curated selection of information with attention to WP policies and guidelines (i.e., what an editor does). In particular, per prior consensus, we're not indiscriminately dumping recent news articles."
And there's a significant amount of information that's been trimmed already, as you've no doubt seen from reading back through the history of when this section was first written. Ultimately, while I agree that WP:Recentism continues to be a valid concern, I don't think 600 words is an unreasonable section size given the overall size of the article, the depth of coverage, and the impact it's had with regards to legislation and the current overall anti-LGBT crusade. Snokalok (talk) 08:22, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right, I've cut it to two for one sentence and three for the other, with one of the three being a source previously used in the same subsection. Let me know your thoughts. Snokalok (talk) 08:29, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"a national newspaper of record" v. "one of the national newspapers of record"[edit]

The second makes it clearer that there are multiple newspapers of record in the country the times is a record for (the United States), while the first makes it sound as though there may be many nations, each with a single newspaper of record. DenverCoder9 (talk) 03:13, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's not how it is, or was, called. It's Original Research to change that. SPECIFICO talk 13:06, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not WP:OR to change to a logically equivalent phrase for clarity. DenverCoder9 (talk) 18:38, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DenverCoder19: you're right that it's not original research to state that the US has several newspapers of record. Reliable sources mention The New York Times in relation to others (or that's what I believe). But do notice that our article says "a" not "the". Politrukki (talk) 08:43, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Consider the following sentences:
1. Washington, DC is a national capital
2. Washington, DC is one of the national capitals
The first sounds better than the second, because, while DC is one of many national capitals in the world, the second sentence makes it sound like there are multiple national capitals in the United States.
That's the difference between these phrasings, and why the second is more appropriate for the Times, because it clarifies that the Times is only one of several newspapers of record within the United States. DenverCoder9 (talk) 15:37, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stance lede[edit]

I made a couple edits to shorten up and improve the concision of the lede to the editorial section. [12] [13]

SPECIFICO, all of whose edits on this page have been reversions, reverted these almost instantly without discussion. I won't dwell on my doubts about whether SPECIFICO read what he reverted. I would normally re-add them given the lack of expressed reasoning against them. However, I don't know if re-adding these 2 qualifies as "aggressive editing", so to stray wide on the side of being nice I'm opening this talk page instead. SPECIFICO, why is the longer wording preferable? e.g. ("in editorial pages" vs. "editorals") 19:43, 26 August 2023 (UTC) DenverCoder9 (talk) 19:43, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The burden is on you to demonstrate why your version is preferable. I find your two edits make no improvement to the article. It's such a small change this isn't really worth having a discussion over. Might be a good opportunity to let it go. ––FormalDude (talk) 23:48, 27 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please focus on content, not the contributor. Specifico made a wholesale revert with vague reference to NPOV and asked this to be discussed on the talk page. And then failed to show up in this discussion. If you think something is too insignificant to be discussed, please just move on. Politrukki (talk) 08:47, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With regards to this, because "editorial pages" captures the idea that both editorials an op-eds are typically liberal. This looks like an improvement, because "in their position" is redundant. As nobody has specifically justified why trimming would not be an improvement and as Specifico has not defended their position, I think it would be best to redo the trimming. Politrukki (talk) 08:45, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Accusations of Liberal Bias" Subsection[edit]

The Arthur Brisbane quoted in this section is not the one discussed in the Arthur Brisbane article, and the link to said article should be removed. (talk) 15:06, 19 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]