Other strongly held opinions about The New York Times’ editorial strategy belonging to reader P— R—

Remember, news organizations: Never try to help your readers.

From Margaret Sullivan, “Is There Any Escape From ‘Recommended for You’?,” The New York Times, February 21, 2014:

The “Recommended for You” feature, an ever-changing list of 10 articles, is not new but it has had more prominence since The Times recently unveiled its redesigned website. Some readers strongly object. I’ve heard from many of them over the past several weeks. One, P— R—, wrote, “I find this offensive and ridiculous, since I feel competent to choose articles to read on my own.”

I will never understand why The Times feels the need to put headlines on stories. I can read through them all and come up with my own pithy summaries of their contents, with the right abbreviations and everything. It’s not hard.

When I pick up a print copy of The Times, I don’t get why they put some stories on the front page of the newspaper and others on other, later pages with higher numbers on them. Just print all the stories in alphabetical order by reporter last name. I can decide which ones are more “pressing” or “urgent” or “Krugman” without the help of anyone in midtown Manhattan.

It makes me so angry that The Times assembles its reporters’ work into story form. Just post audio recordings of their interviews on a simple FTP server. I can figure out the important parts myself, thank you very much.

It is so patronizing the way The Times puts the paragraphs of many stories — particularly the longer ones, I’ve noticed — into something resembling a narrative arc. I’ll find my own dénouement. I enjoy the challenge. Don’t need all this handholding.

I consider it deeply offensive that multiple times daily, as I understand it, editors meet and “decide” what the most “important” “news” of the “day” is. If you just published all the news, I’m sure that would work out fine! We’re not sheeple!

It is the height of arrogance that reporters at The Times would ask questions of world leaders. I can do that just fine without “the middleman,” thanks.

The Monday crossword is embarrassingly easy — let’s be real about that.

Also, I wish Vows could be expanded to be its own daily section.

Thanks to S.P. Sullivan.

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