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Endtimes?: Crises and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2009 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1438438979
ISBN-10: 1438438974
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Editorial Reviews


"Struggling to maintain its journalistic preeminence in a world of accelerating change, the New York Times has often stumbled, but not yet fallen. Scrupulously researched, judiciously argued, and accessibly written, Endtimes? provides a sympathetically critical account of its strengths and weaknesses as it responds to the economic, technological, cultural, and political challenges of our day. No one alarmed by the threatened survival of quality journalism can afford to ignore this trenchant book." ---- Martin Jay, author of The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics

"Daniel Schwarz's lucid, well-researched, and passionate book reminded me of the saying that the best criticism comes from admirers who are willing to tell us our faults. Benefiting from his own extensive interviews with key players in the Times' story, including Max Frankel, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Howell Raines, Schwarz offers a complex, judicious history of a prominent American cultural institution as it responds to a period of crises and turmoil in print journalism. Pulling no punches, Schwarz laments the current version of the paper's fluff, lack of `gate-keeping' and news judgment, and failure to stand up to government. At the same time, he appreciates how the Times remains, after more than a century, a preeminent source of information. This is a lover's quarrel at its best." -- -- Daniel Morris, Purdue University

"Dan Schwarz is a knowing reader and a master teacher. Endtimes? shows that he is a great student of journalism as well. He takes us on a roller-coaster ride from the era of the New York Times's cultural ascendancy to the current financial crisis over its very existence. And he looks into the Times's future too. Everyone who cares about the news in America should read this book." --Barry Strauss, author of The Spartacus War

"Dan Schwarz writes with terrific energy about an important subject: the threat posed by today's flood of information to the integrity and even the existence of what is arguably the world's most influential newspaper. Not every reader will agree with his criticisms of the paper's leadership or his prescriptions for its survival. But every reader will be deeply informed and sharply challenged by his well-documented narrative and his provocative argument." --Steven Knapp, The George Washington University

From the Back Cover

From false stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to growing competition from online and twenty-four-hour cable news, the first decade of the twenty-first century was not particularly kind to the New York Times. In this groundbreaking study of the recent life and times of America's most important newspaper, Daniel R. Schwarz describes the transformation of the Times as it has confronted not only its various scandals and embarrassments but also the rapid rise of the internet and blogosphere, the ensuing decline in circulation and print advertising, and the change in what contemporary readers want and how they want to get it.

Drawing on more than forty one-on-one interviews with past and present editors (including every living executive editor), senior figures on the business and financial side, and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Schwarz discusses virtually every aspect of the contemporary Times, from columnists to cultural coverage. He explains how, in response to continuous online updating and twenty-four-hour all-news radio and television, the Times has become much more like a daily magazine than a traditional newspaper, with increased analysis (as opposed to reporting) of the news as well as value-added features on health, travel, investing, and food.

After carefully tracing the rise of the Times's website, Schwarz asks whether the Times can survive as a print newspaper, whether it can find a business model to support its vast print and online newsgathering operation, and whether the Sulzberger family can survive as controlling owners. He also asks whether the Times, in its desperate effort to survive, has abandoned its quality standards by publishing what he calls "Timeslite" and "Timestrash."

Writing as a skeptical outsider and devoted lifelong reader, Schwarz concludes that the Times is the worst newspaper in the world--except for all the others. Endtimes? is a must-read for Times readers as well as anyone interested in the radical change in print and broadcast media in the rapidly evolving Internet Age.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo; 1st edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438438974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438438979
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,214,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a 25-year veteran of a daily newspaper, I appreciate the history and insights Daniel Schwarz offers on The New York Times, one of the flagships in the newspaper industry. He loves the newspaper, and it shows. But he doesn't pull his punches; he holds the paper to high account. I like the fact that the author approaches this subject from the outside, but with enough knowledge to be able to ask the right questions. He has been a longtime, devoted reader of NYTimes, so he had a personal experience of the paper. But because he was not an NYTimes reporter or editor, he could approach the subject with a scholar's critical perspective that's likely different than a journalist's. "EndTimes?" is a must-read for anyone, inside or outside the industry, who's concerned with the state of print journalism in our society.
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Any time Daniel Schwarz - a professor of English Literature at Cornell University for the past 47 years - chooses to opine on a topic it is worth stopping to listen. From critical theory of Modernist texts, the state of the Humanities, the joy of literature... to the crisis at The New York Times, and for journalism as a whole, Schwarz has a revealing, educating stake in it all. He is a true polymath with a passion for teaching that has not diminished.
It is interesting to read a book on the media industry from an outsider, who has perspective and distance (and some incredibly juicy sources). We can't read Michael Wolff *all* the time.
(I would also recommend Schwarz's less populist book: "Reconfiguring Modernism" for a different kind of read.)
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Format: Hardcover
In Endtimes?, Daniel Schwarz offers a scrupulously researched, passionately written book about the operational and financial instability experienced at the New York Times within the past decade. A life-long love affair with the Times has given Schwarz a voice of authority in the field, which is a welcome departure from the dime-a-dozen opinions of bloggers and social media mavens that usually discuss today's media. Schwarz's criticism comes from a place of deep admiration and appreciation, which allows him to give thoughtful, constructive suggestions for the paper moving forward.

Schwarz is a gifted and energetic storyteller that offers his audience quality history and criticism on the storied institution. The book contains a number of interviews with leading Timesmen, which capture a lot of genuine "insider" sentiments about the development of the paper in the past ten years. The prose is free of industry or academic jargon and would be accessible to anyone wanting to learn more about the nation's most prominent newsgathering organization. The introductory chapters offer a comprehensive, but concise course in NYT history. Moreover, the book provides a thought-provoking discussion on how the Times has experienced struggles with sourcing and misreporting, as well as how it is currently grappling with the speed and (in)accuracy of Internet journalism.

Endtimes? is a timely, honest dialogue about a legacy news organization. I have yet to find another book that explores the same issues as thoroughly and thoughtfully as Endtimes? has. Not every reader will agree with Schwarz's opinions on the paper's leadership or quality of the paper's content. However, every reader will walk away being informed by Schwarz's narrative and stimulated by his predictions for the future of the paper.
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Format: Hardcover
Daniel Schwarz's -Endtimes?: Crises and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2009- lives up to its title-hints of a coming apocalype and an exploration of the history behind it. This is an extremely interesting and thought provoking book. Carefully researched and clearly written--no academic jargon-- -Endtimes?- looks at what is probably the most important newspaper in the world as it struggles with problems ranging from editorial mistakes and irresponsible reporters to the growing reach and power of the internet. In doing this, Schwarz has had the help of what he calls "Times people"-the publisher, every living executive editor, and past and present masthead and section editors--who were willing to open themselves up to interviews. We hear their voices along with Schwarz's as they reflect on such issues as why the -Times- no longer has the level of governmental and public trust it once enjoyed, how well the -Times- has balanced being a New York paper and a national paper, how the -Times- --or any print paper for that matter--can cope with the steady stream of ever changing news available free or nearly free 24\7 on the internet, and how the -Times- --the ultimate source of much of the news other outlets rely on-can afford to continue its extensive and expensive news gathering service. Schwarz also evaluates the regular columnists and looks at the complicated way in which a Jewish owned newspaper has dealt with issues involving Jews. In exploring these subjects,-Endtimes?Read more ›
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