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NY Times Week in Review no longer reviews the week

It’s been a while since I’ve read the NY Times Week in Review. I was shocked at the issue I just read: It’s newsotainment, and not at its best.

What used to be a round-up of the week’s news is now a full page of humor (not even very funny), a feature article or two, some trivia (mainly media-related: Lou Dobbs, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck) and a few pages of op-eds. The op-eds and editorials are up to the NYT snuff, of course.

I feel bad for the Times. I’m sure they hollowed out the Week in Review reluctantly. But, the result is that as far as I can tell, there is no remaining weekly roundup of the news, now that Time and Newsweek have turned into collections of features. The news industry’s claim that it is indispensable for informing the public has grown yet weaker. And none of us should be happy about that.

14 Responses to “NY Times Week in Review no longer reviews the week”

  1. I agree. And your “hallowing out” description is apt – has been a process that, in my view, started in early 2008.

  2. Well, there is at least one remaining high-quality review of the week’s news. Another reason for the Economist’s must-read status.

  3. Last summer I came across a mid70s issue of Time: a completely different animal from today’s version. Not only was the news better covered, but the arts were a huge part of the issue. I was astounded at the range of art, literature, theatre, music, opera and so on that was included in that single issue.

    As late as the 70s and perhaps even into the mid-80s, artists and intellectuals like Leonard Bernstein, Beverly Sills, Jerome Robbins etc were household names, appearing on not only in the pages of Time or on Dick Cavett but as guests (or even guest hosts) of the Tonight Show. Vonnegut, Mailer, Cheever, etc etc etc I’m at a loss when I try to come up with any counterparts on the public scene today.

    I hate to be so Miniver Cheevy-ish, but the dumbing down of American culture is not only sad, it’s a warning to all of us.

  4. Thanks a lot for this Great post

  5. I agree…

  6. I agree. thanks 4 the stuff

  7. David — Given that you only just noticed a change that happened awhile ago, you don’t suppose, do you, that the reason the editors changed this section is because people like you (that is, people who are actually interested in knowing what is going on in the world) stopped reading it?

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  14. “newsotainment”, yes, but more entertainment than news, sadly. Great article, though.

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