New York Times executive editor in conversation with Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg in Ballroom D at South By Southwest:
Jim Rutenberg: Are we really enemies of the American people.
Jim: We said he had to be on the record on his visit to Times.
Jim: Many say NYT has it in for Trump.
Jim: When Trump hits theTimes, subscriptions go up. Can that stave off the cuts?
Dean: There has been an explosion in people who have access and can be true journalists. That’s the best thing that’s ever happened in history of journalism. Even if it hurts economics of newspapers. Not everyone fits my view of journalism, what it should be. Breitbart? No. Not in honorable pursuit of the truth. I look at them every day. Buzzfood, yes. You can do this from the left or right. Bill Kristol is a journalist. You have to be in some pursuit of the truth, honorably.
Dean: People will know we are not fake news when they see photo of our reporter in war zone.
Dean: We need to get out in the country, surprise people by showing up where we’re not expectleed.
Dean: We are taking every nuance of the health care bill. We dig deep. But when the President tweets, you have to cover them, test them. I don’t think anyone and sees graphics we’ve done on immigration doubts we have gone deep into his policies, as well as his tweets.
Democracy dies in darkness? It sounds like the next batman movie. Competition with Washington Post 20 percent of me hates us because they beat us sometimes. 80 percent loves it. I want as many jobs as possible is good. To have two great news organizations fighting it out is terrific. It mainly is those two news organizations, just for the record. If either one was not in the picture, it would be terrible. There are two news organizations is breaking the biggest stories. CNN and Wall Street Journal also do some.
Dean: we put out 200 stories a day. Do I cringe sometimes. Sure. I don’t think we’re driven by clickbait. Newspapers are deeply flawed. 1300 people striving to put a news report every day on different platforms. Sometimes I see things in the paper I don’t like.
Dean: President is trying to reduce the credibility of independent institutions–courts, Congress, press. You counter it by blocking and tackling, making sure by continuing to report, to break stories and make yourself indispensable.
My take: Dean Baquet does sound arrogant to me. He used that word several times, saying he didn’t mean to be arrogant. For my money, and I subscribe to both papers, The Washington Post is driving the story with a cleaner obsession with the truth, untainted by an exalted view of itself as an institution. They are both national treasures IMO.