Margaret Sullivan (journalist)

American journalist

Margaret M. Sullivan is an American journalist. She is a former Public Editor of The New York Times, serving as the "readers' representative" and reporting directly to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. She was the newspaper's fifth Public Editor, or ombudsman, after Daniel Okrent, Byron Calame, Clark Hoyt, and Arthur S. Brisbane, and was the first woman to hold the post. She began her tenure on September 1, 2012. She then became the media columnist for The Washington Post for six years, with her column running from May 22, 2016 to August 21, 2022. Since January 2023, she has written a weekly media and politics column for The Guardian‍'‍s US website. Earlier in her career she worked for The Buffalo News, where she was editor and vice-president.

Margaret Sullivan in 2016

Quotes edit

2016 edit

"Journalists in the age of Trump: Lose the smugness, keep the mission" (November 29, 2016) edit

"Journalists in the age of Trump: Lose the smugness, keep the mission", The Washington Post (November 29, 2016)
  • We — the traditional, the legacy, the mainstream media — have to change.
  • Often it has been that reporter who has most skillfully played the access game — the one who has curried just enough favor with the powerful newsmaker to be smiled upon, without giving up basic credibility and integrity. That’s access journalism. Accountability journalism, by contrast, is often performed off to the side, by those who don’t have to deal with the news provider on a regular basis.
  • If news organizations learned anything after the campaign, they should have learned that groupthink has a tendency to miss the point and journalistic myopia requires some extra-strength corrective lenses. Do something different. Represent the interests of a broader, more ideologically diverse population. Figure out what they’re thinking and feeling — and why.
  • In the wacky new world of fake news, conspiracy theories, hoaxes — and social media’s unthinking participation in spreading all of that — facts and truth get lost in the noise. A responsible media needs to be especially careful not to unwittingly spread lies by amplifying them. Some early coverage of Trump’s recent unwarranted, evidence-free blasts about the illegality of some of the popular vote fell into that trap. It’s depressing but a fact of life that a lot of people don’t know the difference between fake news and conspiracy bilge and verified fact. Nor do they seem to care.

2020–2024 edit

  • After spending the first three decades of my career at one of Buffett’s papers, the Buffalo News, I’m not willing to accept that. Even now, my former newsroom — down by about half from its peak — is doing critically important work, not just crucial watchdog journalism (insider trading by a congressman) but cultural coverage (memories of a concert venue) that knits the community together.
    Amid this nightmare financial scenario, what can be done?
    [Philip] Napoli, for one, thinks that American citizens and our big thinkers need to buckle down — fast — about substantial policy changes that could involve both direct and indirect public funding for local journalism. It "would take us in a more European direction," he said.
    That notion, once radioactive in journalism because it seems to threaten the independence of news organizations, must now be taken seriously.
  • [O]ne key to running Twitter is the tricky matter of "managing up". Anyone who's ever worked in a corporation or big agency, especially as a manager, knows that you have to handle the boss. You have to keep them informed, hold off their worst instincts, tactfully set boundaries and, most of all, somehow convince them that every move you make is really their brilliant idea – or at least a fulfillment of their underlying vision.
    And there's the rub. Twitter’s problems are solvable. But the volatile and narcissistic Elon Musk|Musk]] may be the boss that can’t be managed.

External links edit