Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sun Sets Again: NYT Metro Section R.I.P.

Did the September 30, 2008 demise of the New York Sun cause or accelerate the October 6, 2008 demise of the New York Times Metro section? It did follow hard upon. If you read the New York Times today, you will notice that there is no longer a separate news section called the “The Metro Section.” You won’t see the Metro section in the future; no more front page stories in a section devoted to city news. It has been replaced by coverage with a “New York” heading tucked away in the paper’s A Section. It is predicted that this will result in diminished metropolitan news coverage.

In mourning the loss of the New York Sun, Noticing New York commented that the New York Times has been ceding local city coverage to others as it reconstitutes itself as a national newspaper. We commented further that in the course of doing so the Times has also not been adequately covering important local issues like New York’s abuses of eminent domain and more extensive abuses such as Atlantic Yards. (Thursday, September 11, 2008, If the Sun Sets and see also Tuesday, September 30, 2008, No Longer If; The Sun Sets)

Where else will we go to inform ourselves if the Times does not provide a home to good reporters and good coverage? Just today, as the stage-managed term limits debate races along faster than most of the public can keep up, we had no choice but to rely on Times coverage (See: Term Limits: Voting Against the Voters.) The news coverage has been good but the Times editorial page was already commandeered, an inappropriate part of the way the debate is being stage-managed. The Times was not the only New York paper whose editorial page was inappropriately and collusively commandeered. The Daily News and the Post were already on board.

Should the Times still be calling itself the New York Times?

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