TUESDAY’S LINKS: NYTimes.com Links to YouTube, Hitchens on the Bush Admin. and the ‘NYT’, ‘Balance’ Unfair?

By: E&P Staff

In today’s edition questions about the value of “balance” in reporting, a critic wonders how the Internet is changing the way that reporting is done, and a writer says the Bush Administration is gearing up for its annual budget dog-and-pony show for the press.


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When Media Aims for Balance, Some Views and Facts Get Lost
Chrisitian Science Monitor: “In searching for an easy way to explain the news in a limited space, journalists too often reduce issues to their most rudimentary forms,” writes Dante Chinni. “Despite its prominent place in many media debates, ‘balance,’ as it is usually understood, is often not particularly useful in journalism. All opinions and points of view aren’t equal when one digs into the facts and ‘both sides’ leaves a lot of sides out.”


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Wag That Tail, Fido; It’s July
CJR Daily: “We all know that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but it turns out you also can’t get him to drop his old tricks,” writes Felix Gillette. “Especially, when the dog in question is the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). And the trick in question is OMB’s deeply-ingrained reflex of eagerly wagging its tail — perhaps “frantically spinning” is the better description — every time it reports on the federal budget deficit.”


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NYT’s Kuczynski Talks About Her Plastic Surgery ‘Addiction’ in New Book
New York Times style reporter Alex Kuczynski has never been known for being tight-lipped. She bragged about her husband’s physique as he emerged naked from a hot tub in the September 2005 issue of W. She wrote about tearing out her own hair in a piece about trichotillomania in the May 2002 issue of Allure. “When I was at the New York Observer, I wrote about high colonics, my own high colonics,” Kuczynski said. “I’ve often considered myself to be a method journalist, like a method actor.” So perhaps it’s not surprising that she spent over 30 pages of her new book, “Beauty Junkies,” due out in October, talking about her own adventures under the scalpel of plastic surgeon Michelle Copeland, whom Kuczynski began seeing when she was just 28.


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Is the Web Changing Journalism?
Chicago Tribune: “A set of values has evolved that is so market-driven that it supports abandoning a fundamental journalism obligation, telling people what is happening in their world, from the front porch to the most distant corner of the Earth, whether they are comfortable with it or not,” writes Charles Madigan. “Where does difficult, important, unpleasant and complicated news fit in that formula?”


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Full Disclosure: Bring on the Press Revelations
Slate: “In encounters with various conservatives this past week, I have come to realize that they are entirely serious about regarding the ‘MSM,’ in particular the New York Times under the editorship of Bill Keller, as not just objectively treasonable but subjectively so — in other words, as being consciously hostile to the Bush administration’s war aims,” writes Christopher Hitchens. “This issue has also given the right-wing rank and file something to really gnaw upon, and I expect it will be with us all the way up to, and including, the fall elections. What a pity, therefore, that the conflict is so wrongly counterposed and can lead only to demagoguery on one side and hypocrisy on the other.”


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Obit Writers Find That Death Becomes Us
Toronto Star: “We are accustomed to our own world of obituaries, the ones heralding those with a zest for life, who put up a brave fight against a disease, lived for their families, never met a stranger, left the world a better place, and we are even getting used to the obit-writing blogs and website pages such as stiffs.com, the Blog of Death, Find a Grave, Last Writes,” writes Cathy Dunphy in looking back on a Las Vegas conference of obituary writers.


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NYTimes.com Harnesses YouTube For World Cup Site
MediaPost: In a development that seems to signal the growing acceptance of YouTube.com by mainstream media, the Web site of The New York Times linked to the online file-sharing site as part of the paper’s multimedia coverage of the World Cup final. The link appeared in a sidebar and pointed readers to footage of the game’s most striking moment–the head-butt attack by French captain Zinedine Zidane against Italian defender Marco Materazzi that resulted in Zidane’s ejection from the game.

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