Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bill Keller, New York Times

Here's a quote from an e-mail New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote to Jack Schafer of Slate in February. Keller wrote this as part of a longer e-mail in response to a criticism Schafer had published on an NYT piece.

I dig it.

"The credibility of the serious press is under assault on several flanks. There is a debate underway, sometimes silly but sometimes profound, about whether it is possible or even desirable to have an impartial press based on robust, empirical reporting and fair-minded analysis. There is some confusion out there about how what we do differs in kind from Fox or Instapundit or Rush Limbaugh. We should be in that conversation. At least we should try to engage those who seem to share a genuine interest in a well-informed citizenry—those who are not driven by sheer ideological (or commercial) malice.

"Some journalists get into this work to be players, to right wrongs, to change the world. The best investigative reporters have at least a streak of that. Most journalists, I think, like being on the sidelines, witnessing, analyzing, but a little detached, neither on the field nor sitting with the fans of either team. I've always been in the second category. I like the sidelines just fine. But when the fight is over the role and future of journalism itself, the sidelines are a pretty untenable position."