Everyone Has an Opinion, But Can You Print It?

Tags: Currents George Floyd, Journalism, Media, National News, New York, New York City, New York Times Op-Ed

Currents News Staff

It’s been a rough week for the Gray Lady: the New York Times has lost a top editor after the paper received backlash over an opinion piece on the George Floyd protests.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton wrote calling for the military to be used to deal with protests, and the opinion column drew a lot of criticism. First, editor James Bennet defended the opinion piece, then said it was wrong to run it and admitted that he didn’t even read it before it ran online.

It’s not the first time the New York Times has run a controversial opinion piece. In 2014 a column ran titled “Pedophilia: A disorder, Not a Crime.” No one resigned after that column was published.

Should Bennet have resigned because of this column, and what does this mean for journalism? Did the New York Times fail in their publishing standards?

An editor also resigned from the Philadelphia Inquirer after a headline read “Buildings Matter Too.”

Another paper, the Pittsburg Gazette, has been accused of not sending black reporters to protests because of possible biases. 

What are the consequences of these instances, if any?

Discussion on publishing both sides of the story and keeping journalism unbiased is ongoing,

but considering the pushback, is that possible, and where do papers draw the line in keeping coverage neutral? 

St. John’s University professor and journalism expert Mike Rizzo joins Currents News to share his experience and insight with these issues.