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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Merchants of Truth: Jill Abramson

The first female executive editor of The New York Times takes an unsparing look at US journalism’s decline.
By Laetitia Laubscher
May 06, 2019
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Merchants of Truth: Jill Abramson

The first female executive editor of The New York Times takes an unsparing look at US journalism’s decline.
By Laetitia Laubscher
May 06, 2019
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After less than three years on the job, the first female executive editor of The New York Times, Jil Abramson, was fired in 2014. After taking her leave from the newspaper, Abramson set about to investigate reporting at four news — established media giants The New York Times and The Washington Post as well as relatively new media organisations BuzzFeed and Vice — in her new book Merchants of TruthThe Business of News and the Fight for Facts. 

The book has been described by The Guardian as an "unsparing look at US journalism's moral decline", the publication calling Abramson "someone who knows where most of the bodies are buried and is prepared to draw the reader a detailed map. Names are named, mistakes are exposed, and the writing is unforgiving and unadorned". The book's release triggered accusations of factual errors and unethical behaviour, namely plagiarism, against Abramson, which she has denied.

Abramson joins Toby Manhire to discuss the controversy, the Fourth Estate, and whether an internet strewn with memes and adorable cat videos are all we can expect from the future of content.

Image: Eric Bridiers.

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