Politico’s Tim Grieve reports on Bill Keller’s talk at Stanford yesterday…and, per his telling, the one-liners just kept on coming. Don’t forget to tip your waitress!
STANFORD, Calif. — New York Times executive editor Bill Keller spoke at Stanford Thursday to mark the opening of a new building for The Stanford Daily — an event he acknowledged might feel a little like a “ribbon-cutting” for “a new Pontiac dealership.”Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.
Among Keller’s observations about the “unnerving future” of newspapers:
On the NYT: Keller predicted that the Times will be “left standing after the deluge.” Noting that readers have offered to donate money to keep the Times alive, Keller suggested that GM probably isn’t getting similar offers.
Commenting on the keep-the-Times alive movement, Keller said: “Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause.”
On CNN: Keller said it’s hard to remember that the letters stand for Cable News Network when reporting is replaced by “juries of commentators” behind laptops on a set that looks like “a parody of a ‘Daily Show’ parody” of a news set.
On Newsweek: Citing Newsweek’s plan to focus more on features, Keller asked, “I don’t know what they’re going to do about the magazine’s title.”
On the Web: Keller said that the Internet still isn’t a source for much “indigenous” reporting, but that a few outlets — Talking Points Memo, POLITICO and the Smoking Gun archives among them — have won big followings and “respect.”
On Google and other news aggregators: “If you’re inclined to trust Google as your source for news — Google yourself.”