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July 29, 2021
The New York Times Has Lost It's Way

What's happening at The New York Times? The paper of record is under fire. Critics argue it has sacrificed journalistic and intellectual balance in favor of correcting historic inequalities. In the process, they say, that effort has stifled dissent and promoted social justice above all else. Not so, say its defenders. The paper has indeed evolved, they argue. Yet that evolution has been proven a particular strength in such tumultuous times. Subscriptions are up, while both casting a critically important lens on historically disenfranchised groups and maintaining its core commitment to high editorial standards and a wide breadth of reporting. So here's the debate: "Has the New York Times Lost Its Way?"

Post-Debate
Winner

Against the Motion
40 %
52 %
For the Motion
8 %
Undecided
Pre-Debate
Against the Motion
23 %
49 %
For the Motion
28 %
Undecided
Breakdown
Against the Motion
22% - Remained For the Against Side
4% - Swung From the For Side
14% - Swung From Undecided
For the Motion
1% - Swung From the Against Side
43% - Remained For the For Side
8% - Swung From Undecided
Undecided
0% - Swung From the Against Side
3% - Swung From the For Side
6% - Remained Undecided
Post-Debate
Winner

Against the Motion
34 %
62 %
For the Motion
4 %
Undecided
Pre-Debate
Against the Motion
21 %
53 %
For the Motion
26 %
Undecided
Breakdown
Against the Motion
18% - Remained For the Against Side
4% - Swung From the For Side
13% - Swung From Undecided
For the Motion
2% - Swung From the Against Side
48% - Remained For the For Side
12% - Swung From Undecided
Undecided
2% - Swung From the Against Side
1% - Swung From the For Side
1% - Remained Undecided
About The Debaters
An image of Yascha Mounk
Yascha Mounk − Author, "The People vs. Democracy"
Yascha Mounk is an associate professor of Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University and a... read bio
An image of Batya Ungar-Sargon
Batya Ungar-Sargon − Deputy Opinion Editor, Newsweek Magazine
Batya Ungar-Sargon is Newsweek's deputy opinion editor and author of the forthcoming book “Bad News: How Woke... read bio
An image of Frank Sesno
Frank Sesno − Former CNN Washington Bureau Chief
Frank Sesno is the former director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. He... read bio
An image of Virginia Heffernan
Virginia Heffernan − Columnist, Wired Magazine 
Virginia Heffernan is an American journalist and cultural critic. Since 2015, she has been a political columnist at... read bio
Main Points
For The Motion
  • The New York Times has sacrificed its objectivity in favor of supporting social justice goals.  
  • The Times, like much of mainstream media, has created an environment that stifles dissenting opinions.  
  • While it should be a balanced publication, digital media has pushed the Times into a more lucrative model, catering to an increasingly liberal base of readers.
Against The Motion
  • The New York Times' core mission and commitment to excellence in journalism has not changed. 
  • The NYT's breadth and depth of reporting come from all corners of the world, while its examination of historically disenfranchised groups is long overdue.  
  • The Times has begun offering new content in new formats. And it's working, as evidenced by its soaring subscription base.