the times-picayune and passion

Great piece in the LAT on the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s heroic post-Katrina coverage. The reporter asks: “The newspaper’s success in the face of disaster raises a question: Are objectivity and dispassion in journalism overrated?”
Which is, of course, the wrong question to ask. Objectivity is not overrated. But dispassion is another thing entirely. Newspapers get in trouble when they confuse the two. Being an objective source of information does not mean being a cold fish. We should be passionate. We should inspire our readers to be passionate. We should make them gleeful and angry and sad — hopefully all three every day. Newspapers need a personality, and the T-P — by becoming a clear, angry voice on behalf of its city — has accomplished that.
Here’s the terrific Chris Rose column the LAT piece refers to. It’s amazing, and you should read it first. People, it may be about to be 2006, but I beg of you: Please don’t make New Orleans yesterday’s news. The city needs our love.

3 thoughts on “the times-picayune and passion”

  1. Amen, my friend. The T-P has done such an excellent job post-K. And Chris Rose has done the finest work of his career. If he doesn’t win an award it would be a crime. I know the woman who is the subject of his article and he gets it exactly right. Living in New Orleans today is a daily heart break.

  2. Chris Rose had a note to readers in today’s paper saying he’s taking a few weeks off to “step out of this thing and breathe. get a fresh perspective, walk in the park and watch boats float down the river and see what shapes I can find in the clouds. Bunnies. Sheep. Stuff like that.” His columns have been a godsend here. Another note about nola: this deserted city was packed last night, at least in the quarter. Bodies to bodies, natives come back to act like tourists and celebrate the close of a horrific year and the start of something new. Thanks to the T-P for running a story containing the best news out of this city in months: and, of course, to chris rose for capturing the feelings of a city in a few words printed on D-1:
    If the man doesn’t win a Pulitzer this year, i suggest riots.

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