The New York Times is facing backlash over its coverage of Donald Trump and the 2024 election

The New York Times is facing backlash over its coverage of Donald Trump and the 2024 election - Business and Finance - News

Title: The New York Times Under Scrutiny: Criticisms and Controversies Surrounding the Gray Lady’s 2024 Presidential Coverage

The New York Times (NYT), often referred to as “The Gray Lady,” has been facing a surge of criticism from readers and media observers over the past few weeks. The concerns stem from perceptions that the esteemed news organization is not adequately conveying the severity of the challenges posed by a potential second term for Donald Trump, who is facing multiple investigations and allegations.

While criticisms of the NYT are not new, the intensity and focus on the issue have amplified as Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign gains traction. Detractors argue that the newspaper has been overly preoccupied with concerns about President Joe Biden’s age and has not given sufficient attention to the far more pressing issue of another Trump term.

Moreover, critics contend that the NYT applies different reporting standards when covering Biden and Trump. Some argue that the newspaper places false equivalence on issues concerning the current president compared to the former president, who has faced 91 criminal counts and has previously expressed desires to act as a dictator from day one.

One recent flashpoint in the criticism against the NYT came over the weekend with the publication of a poll that the newspaper conducted with Siena College. The poll found that a majority of Biden voters believe he is too old to be an effective president, and the findings sparked a flood of angry reactions from readers. Some even declared on Website social media integration that they had cancelled their subscriptions in response.

Jeff Jarvis, the Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation at the CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, took to Threads to voice his concerns. He argued that the poll question itself was biased and served as an agenda for the NYT rather than objective journalism:

“Who made age an ‘issue’? The credulous Times falling into the right-wing’s projection. This is not journalism. Shameful.”

Jarvis then challenged the NYT to ask similar questions about Trump’s fitness for office:

“NY Times, did you ask your random voters whether Trump is too insane, doddering, racist, sexist, criminal, traitorous, hateful to be effective as President?”

While the NYT is not alone in facing criticism over its coverage of the 2024 presidential race, its influence and significance to American journalism make it a focal point for critics.

The criticisms leveled against the NYT and other news organizations are not without merit. The media landscape continues to grapple with how best to cover Trump and the threats he poses to American democracy. CNN and MSNBC, for instance, have struggled to establish a consistent policy on how to handle Trump’s live remarks, airing them at times but also drawing criticism for doing so.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that not all of the challenges confronting newsrooms are easily resolved. The complexities surrounding media coverage of Trump and the ongoing threats to democracy are thorny issues that often lack clear answers. For example, after the 2020 election, there was a widespread consensus that the press should largely ignore Trump’s antics. In the lead-up to the upcoming election, this stance has shifted, with some Biden campaign advisors encouraging media outlets to pay more attention to Trump’s erratic behavior.

Additionally, it is important to distinguish between valid criticisms and misguided ones. For instance, when addressing the poll the NYT published with Siena College, some critics attacked the sample size of 980 registered voters, echoing complaints that Trump and his supporters have made against political polls in the past. Harry Enten, CNN’s senior data reporter, clarified that such a sample size is within the norm for scientific polling and that The Times/Siena College poll is one of the best in the business.

Clara Jeffery, editor-in-chief of the progressive Mother Jones news outlet, urged readers not to conflate these issues on Threads:

“People are upset today with the NYT because of…a poll?”

A spokesperson for The Times responded to these criticisms on Monday, defending the organization’s polling and coverage. They emphasized that their commitment is to reporting on the world as it is without fear or favor and that any deviation from this practice would run directly against the principles of independent journalism.

Bill Carter, a media critic who spent much of his career as a media reporter for The Times, acknowledged that the newspaper is not perfect and that there are occasions when its coverage seems less attuned to the changing realities of the political landscape. However, Carter argued that The Times has thoroughly covered Trump’s scandals and lies at length, fact-checked his statements, and highlighted his anti-democratic behavior.

Carter concluded that while there may be merit to the accusation that the media have not sufficiently raised alarm bells regarding the threat to democracy, if Democrats lose to Trump despite extensive coverage, the fault will lie not with the media but with themselves.