The New York Times’ Publisher on the Future of Journalism, and the Poet Paul Tran
Over the past several years, as more democratic institutions and norms have come under attack, many journalists have raised the question of whether it is ethical to adhere to journalism’s traditional principles of non-bias, objectivity, and political neutrality. In May, A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, staked out his position in the traditionalist camp in an essay for the Columbia Journalism Review. “The traditionalists in the ranks have long believed that their long-standing view speaks for itself. I became increasingly convinced that the argument doesn’t make itself,” he tells David Remnick. Sulzberger shies away from the term objectivity, instead describing the “posture of independence” as one that prizes “an open mind, a skeptical mind,” and a clear-eyed pursuit of truth––even if it leads to uncomfortable conclusions. Sulzberger, whose family has owned the paper since 1896, says he wants to push back on a culture of “certitude” in journalism. “In this hyper-politicized, hyper-polarized moment, is society benefiting from every single player getting deeper and deeper, and louder and louder, about declaring their personal allegiances and loyalties and preferences?” he asks.
Plus, this week’s issue of The New Yorker features a new poem by Paul Tran, a young writer whose début collection was named one of the best books of 2022. The poem, “The Three Graces,” takes its name from a rock formation near Colorado Springs. “I was curious: what would these three rocks have to say about the nature of love,” Tran tells the producer Jeffrey Masters. Tran’s poetry explores their personal history—their family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam—as well as their trans identity.