Poynter Online, a site for journalists, posted an email exchange between Nick Goldberg, the Op-Ed Editor of the LA Times, and Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times. The message from Keller is clear–a real person has gone to jail because of her ethical beliefs. This is not an abstract intellectual exercise.
Frank Rich wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times that appeared in last Sunday’s paper that is incisive and insightful. The issues surrounding this case are not limited to journalistic ethics or a small number of people.
The New York Observer is a weekly, liberal newspaper that regularly covers the media. (You can read more about it on Wikipedia.) The secondary cover story, In Stunned Time Inc., Angry Freeze Sets In; Cooper ‘Not Surprised.’ by Tom Scocca, Anna Schneider-Mayerson and Gabriel Sherman, provides a good overview of the history behind the decision and its relation to other cases. However, while the secondary cover story is worth reading, the primary cover story, The Norman Evasion by Robert Sam Anson, should not be missed if you care about journalism. Anson’s piece investigates Pearlstine’s decision in relation to the history of Time Inc. and ends with a harsh quote:
“Would John Huey have decided differently?” mused a Time Inc. editor over a recent dinner table, where the conversation was nothing but Norm and what he’d done. “I think so. Because John, you see, is a journalist. A tough son of a bitch as an executive, but still a damn fine journalist.” He shook his head.
“Just like Norm used to be,” he said.