Introduction to reporting


Really and truly, I'm not in a get—the—New—York—Times mode, but lately that paper of record has been indulging in behavior worthy of a high school paper with rebellious adolescent editors.  Therefore, the Times' peers at the New York Post give them some basic reporting instructions.   
It's axiomatic that every news story has at least two sides — and that reporters must do their best to report them. This isn't peculiar to The New York Times: It's the first rule of journalism — drilled into every reporter from Day One.
If the Times' people listen, they'll learn some vital media skills.
Ethel C. Fenig
Reporting 101

April 9, 2005 —— The New York Times Wednesday pub lished an apology of sorts for its re cent news article on a questionable report that absolved Columbia University's Middle East Studies department of anti—Israel bias.
In an Editor's Note, the paper acknowledged that its reporter had been given an advance copy of the whitewash "on the condition that the writer not seek reaction from other interested parties."

In other words, the Times agreed not speak to anyone who might challenge the report's contents until after the article had been published.

And so it was: The article was first published on the paper's Web site — and then on the Times' front page — without reaction except from a professor who was criticized in the report.

The paper now admits the article "should not have appeared" in such a one—sided and biased form because the Times has a "policy" in which "writers are not permitted to forgo follow—up reporting in exchange for information."

According to the paper, "editors and the writer did not recall the policy."

Did not recall?