By Christopher B. Daly
Today presents a good example of what makes the New York Times so valuable. When the “controversy” over the anti-Muhammad movie called “Innocence of Muslims” broke a couple of months ago, many news organizations covered it for a few days. Eventually, to judge by the evidence so far, they all threw in the towel and gave up trying to get to the bottom of the story of the Coptic deadbeat/activist Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (if that really is his name). All except the Times. In today’s edition, the paper presents a page-1 story with a double byline. Top billing went to Pulitzer-winner Serge Kovaleski, backed up by Brooks Barnes. But that’s not all. At the bottom of the story is a credit line that mentions four more people:
Ana Facio-Krajcer and Noah Gilbert contributed reporting from Los Angeles, and Mai Ayyad from Cairo. Jack Begg contributed research.
So, that is six journalists and counting. All of which is not to mention the folks on the photo desk and the several layers of editors who worked on this piece as well. In all, I would estimate that the full team was in the low double digits.
That is real reporting power. That is the Times’s way of saying: We don’t care how long it takes or how many people it takes, if we get interested in something, we are going to pursue it.
Is the Times perfect? Does the Times pursue every story you would like it to. Obviously not, but where would we be without it?