Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The New York Times publisher job moves from father Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. to son Arthur Gregg Sulzberger

This post is copy-pasted from

The New York Times has been one of the newspapers that I have greatly admired and been inspired by, for decades. I think from sometime in the 1990s I have been exposed to New York Times articles on a somewhat regular basis, either as articles reprinted in Indian newspapers or as articles that I read over the Internet. I loved the usage of English in it as it seemed to me to be quite easy to understand, without fancy verbiage being used to show off the vocabulary of the writer but putting general readers at a disadvantage, and without compromising on conveying the message to the readers. In India I had come across quite a few writers who tended to show off their vocabulary and used heavy and sometimes unnecessary linguistic ornamentation for their articles. The contrast that most New York Times articles had was refreshing and led me to try to adopt a similar approach when I wrote my articles.

As I got into my role as a social media writer from Sept. 2011 onwards, sometimes playing a reporter role on various matters like the poor quality of teaching software development in Indian Computer Science and Information Technology academia, Sathya Sai fraternity related matters, current events from a perspective of religion and spirituality etc., and sometimes providing my opinion on them, I have consciously, and perhaps at times unconsciously, aspired to follow the high standards of the New York Times (NYT). Of course, I am sure that I fail many times to follow NYT's high standards given that I am not a commercial career journalist or writer, and am a single home based writer operation who writes rather hurriedly as I cover a lot of topics. I should also state here that I do not do any investigative journalism stuff that needs interactions with govt. or NGO orgn. officials but go by information provided by sources to me. I also avoid writing about very sensitive matters. But within these limitations, in whatever I do write as an opinion or as a news report, I try to follow NYT's standards of sticking to the truth as one knows it, and not hesitating to make corrections if later information shows some mistakes in my previously written articles. I recognize that I am playing some kind of chronicler role especially in matters related to Sathya Sai fraternity that I "bear witness to". The NYT is known as the newspaper of record in the USA, So for my chronicler kind-of role I think that NYT's reporting standards are what I should aspire to, whenever feasible.

Given this background of great respect that I have for NYT, the news of a new publisher at the New York Times was of great interest to me. Here are two articles related to this change at the top publisher position in the New York Times. Note that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. continues as Chairman. These two articles provide historical background of the NYT as well as the paper's publishing vision.

1) A.G. Sulzberger, 37, to Take Over as New York Times Publisher,, 14th Dec. 2017. This article gives interesting historical background of the New York Times and the 25 year tenure (1992 to 2017) of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. as publisher.

2) A NOTE FROM OUR NEW PUBLISHER,, 1st Jan. 2018. In this article, the new publisher A.G. Sulzberger writes that his great-great-grandfather Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times in 1896 when it was "small" and "fading". He writes that at that time the press was partisan and not so concerned about informing the public (in an unbiased way).

Adolph Ochs "vowed that The Times would be fiercely independent, dedicated to journalism of the highest integrity and devoted to the public welfare". The writer claims that NYT is still animated by this idea.

The writer states that Ochs vision for the reporting of news was "to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved". And for opinions that were published, his vision was, "to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion".

The writer claims that today's American society is faced with similar challenges that American society faced in 1896 and so, "More than 120 years after Adolph Ochs’s vision was printed in these pages, the need for independent, courageous, trustworthy journalism is as great as it’s ever been."

A.G. Sulzberger (AGS) writes about the dangers and challenges faced by mainstream print media today in the USA. On one hand, the earlier business model for print media is eroding, resulting in staffing cuts.

On the other hand, AGS writes, "Misinformation is rising and trust in the media is declining as technology platforms elevate clickbait, rumor and propaganda over real journalism, and politicians jockey for advantage by inflaming suspicion of the press. Growing polarization is jeopardizing even the foundational assumption of common truths, the stuff that binds a society together."

And then AGS gives an assurance that he and his colleagues at NYT will fight against such negative forces influencing NYT.

AGS has been at the forefront of NYT's digital evolution.

Ravi: I wish the new publisher of The New York Times, Mr. A.G. Sulzberger, all the very best in his job and wish the entire New York Times team all the very best.

[I thank and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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