OLD Media Moves

NYT’s DealBook conference was chummy

December 13, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes Thursday that the paper’s DealBook conference was a chance for some of its business journalists to get chummy with sources.

Sullivan writes, “Was the event too chummy, too clubby, and is DealBook itself that way, too?

“‘I don’t think there’s any truth to that,’ Mr. Sorkin said. ‘We ask very pointed questions.’

“In its first event of this kind, The Times put together a smooth, impressive and star-studded day, and it made none of the clumsy errors that The Los Angeles Times did in its Staples Center debacle or The Washington Post in its aborted ‘Salongate’ plans.

“But given the lunchtime rollout of a new Blackberry device, the overall friendly questioning of prominent newsmakers, the reception afterward – featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres and the incessant rubbing of journalistic and corporate elbows — the word ‘adversarial’ did not come to mind. Nor did the word ‘watchdog.’

“Most audience members paid handsomely to be ‘invited’ – most tickets were $1,500, others less. Given that they were coming to see people like Mr. Blankfein — other big names were the JPMorgan Chase chairman Jamie Dimon and the Google chairman Eric Schmidt – The Times’s indebtedness to these sources lurks in the shadows. (The participants were not paid for their appearances.)”

Read more here.

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