“Of course it is,” responds NY Times public editor Daniel Okrent.
Saying that The Times plays too much to its urban readership, Okrent is particularly critical of the paper’s editors for supportive coverage of gay marriage, saying that its articles about the debate do not offer a deep exploration of the issue. Worrying that the 50% of the paper’s readers who live outside of metropolitan New York might be alienated by the big city and “all its attendant provocations, experiments and attitudes,” Okrent’s offers a critique of The Times arts coverage that is especially cold, writing, “The culture pages often feature forms of art, dance or theater that may pass for normal (or at least tolerable) in New York but might be pretty shocking in other places.”
What’s great about The New York Times is that its editors use their media leadership role to great advantage, placing sometimes challenging and issues on the radar of readers and certainly editors and reporters at other media outlets. Would Okrent would rather its editors make the paper more like, say, The New York Post?