New York Times Publisher Says Trump Presidency Will Be Covered Without Bias

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Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

On Friday, a day after president-elect Donald Trump met with President Obama in the White House, New York Times Publisher New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. told his staff in a memo that Mr. Trump's administration will be covered "without bias."

"We will cover his policies and his agenda fairly," wrote Mr. Sulzberger. "We will bring expert analysis and thoughtful commentary to the changes we see in government, and to their ramifications on the ground."

He said the Times is uniquely positioned to succeed, as a battle-hardened public and an exhausted press corps face a monumental shift in direction for the country.

"Our predecessors founded our singular newspaper for just this moment -- to serve as a watchdog to the powerful; and to hold mighty institutions accountable, without fear or favor," Mr. Sulzberger said. "We are more than ready to fulfill that promise."

Mr. Trump frequently targeted The New York Times during the campaign for what he said was shoddy, irresponsible and unfair journalism that treated him poorly. The paper, including editor Dean Baquet, has long pushed back on those claims.

When Mr. Trump threatened to sue the paper over its reporting on his taxes, a Times attorney's response circulated widely online.

Mr. Sulzberger, echoing other newspaper executives and editors across this country this week, said an effort will be made to understand the "roots of the anger" that motivated Mr. Trump's supporters.

The media industry has been reflecting on the coverage of Mr. Trump and his candidacy, trying to figure out why the conventional wisdom about an easy victory for Hillary Clinton proved to be dead wrong.

Some outlets, like The Daily Beast, have pledged to be part of "the loyal opposition," which is seemingly both a statement of principle and a self-branding exercise. People magazine came under fire for what some saw as fluffy editorial treatment for the Trump family, though editor Jess Cagle said in a memo yesterday that the criticism was "unfortunate and unfair."

Whatever the case, Mr. Sulzberger ended his memo by acknowledging the physical toll that the campaign has taken on his employees. "Get some rest this weekend," he said. "We have lots to do."

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