letters to the editor

Notes from our Online Readers

Readers weigh in on Ron Howell's "The New York Times Goes to the Dogs"
May 9, 2012

In a March piece, Ron Howell wrote about the increase in stories about dogs in The New York Times since Jill Abramson, author of The Puppy Diaries, became executive editor. Here are some of the comments:

I think you’ll find that it’s not just the NYT that’s become obsessed with dog stories. Media all over the country have recently decided to find as many animal-related stories as they can because, in the case of animal-abuse stories, they’re guaranteed to elicit immediate, and strong, reactions, and in the case of other kinds of animal stories, strangely enough, they’re perceived as human-interest stories with a built-in audience. It’s purely a matter of journalistic pandering. —Martskers

Is this a joke? This silly piece makes a half-hearted effort to build an argument around what seems to be a random and rather meaningless statistic. —Thunk

Regarding the comment by Thunk, they’re neither random nor meaningless, those dog stories. They’re coming one right after the other, and taken together, they say a lot about our evolving (devolving) culture and about the state of journalism. —Ron Howell

I did a root search for the letter “s” in the LexisNexis database, and the results were astounding. There’s definitely something going on. In the last four months alone since Abramson took over as editor, no other letter was used more in sentence composition and structure in the NYT. —Wexis

The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.