A Book Unfit for 'The New York Times'

The Cultures of Newsrooms

Dan Seligman captures an essence of the book in his review in The Wall Street Journal: "Paul Teetor, an award-winning reporter at Vermont's Gannett-owned Burlington Free Press, is covering a local forum on racism. A young white woman tries to speak and is told by the moderator, a [black] mayoral aide, that only 'people of color' are allowed to speak. Mr. Teetor agrees with the woman that this is 'reverse racism' and says so in his next-day news story. The mayoral aide says he will organize a march on the Free Press if Mr. Teetor isn't instantly fired. He is indeed fired, in a 90-second meeting at which he has no chance to defend himself. . . .

"The editor who fired him is under pressure from Gannett to improve his 'mainstreaming' scores. . . . Editors are supposed to meet a variety of racial targets in hiring, in the use of sources, and in positive news coverage."

That diversity goal misfires when it leads to identity politics masquerading as reliable journalism.

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