March 31, 2017
The New York Times points readers to notable political writing on the left and right
by Kait Howard
Last month, we wrote about a New York Times article focused on differing approaches by media on the left and the right to covering Michael T. Flynn’s resignation as national security advisor. The reporter, Sydney Ember, used the analysis to argue that the media has become more divided than ever, a reflection of the much-discussed polarization of American political opinion revealed so starkly by the presidential election.
Whether the media has actually become more divided, or if journalists — particularly on the left — are merely beginning to pay more attention to voices outside the so-called mainstream, is debatable, but it’s definitely interesting to see the Times making an effort to acknowledge the ways in which right-wing reporting and opinion differs from their own. Based on my admittedly casual perusal, it seems like since the election, the paper has been running more analysis of the right-wing media, including recent in-depth profiles of conservative outlets like the Weekly Standard, which is anti-Trump, as well as Fox News.
Perhaps more interestingly, the Times just launched a new series of roundups of political writing from around the web, titled “Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss.” Like their regular political writing roundups, the lists—the first of which ran last week—offer a curated selection of news and opinion from a range of media outlets that the Times editors consider noteworthy.
“The political news cycle is fast… Trying to find differing perspectives worth your time is even harder,” writes Times senior digital strategist Anna Dubenko in a header introducing the roundups. The second installment of the series, published Tuesday, includes links to a Weekly Standard piece on Trump’s budget cuts (right-wing) and an article about the rise of civilian deaths in the Middle East since Trump took office by the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald (left-wing), among others.
Most of the included articles are only briefly summarized (though Dubenko includes an Atlantic piece by Republican commentator David Frum “with a bit of qualification”), and it’s nice to find Times editors offering examples of what they see as serious thinking across the political spectrum without comment. As Dubenko noted on Twitter, “I read through a lot of bad takes to bring you this.”
Right & Left: We’re curating partisan writing. Big response from readers eager for a glimpse of the other side. https://t.co/N9SFxRJs38 pic.twitter.com/aMJPZgUEpL
— Clifford Levy (@cliffordlevy) March 24, 2017
Kait Howard is a publicist at Melville House.