The New York Times has been aggressively critical of president-elect Donald Trump, but the paper promises to cover him fairly and “without fear.”
Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. emailed staffers on Friday to explain that he expects to cover the incoming Trump administration without bias.
“We will cover his policies and his agenda fairly. We will bring expert analysis and thoughtful commentary to the changes we see in government, and to their ramifications on the ground,” Sulzberger, Jr. wrote.
He continued: “We will look within and beyond Washington to explore the roots of the anger that has roiled red and blue America. If many Americans no longer seem to understand each other, let’s make it our job to interpret and explain.”
Trump shocked the world to defeat Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and is scheduled to occupy the White House starting Jan. 20. The Times’ publisher noted that the paper was founded for situations like this so it can “serve as a watchdog to the powerful.”
Trump and the Times have had a rocky relationship that included the paper calling out his lies, aggressively investigating his real estate deals and leaking his partial tax return, with Trump even threatening a lawsuit at one point.
“Together, we have built the world’s best digital newsroom and it, too, was made for just this moment. We will chronicle the new administration with a lightning-fast report that features stories told in every medium and on every platform,” Sulzberger, Jr. wrote. “Here is what we have all dedicated our careers to: Going after the biggest stories in the world, and telling them as ambitiously as possible.”
See the full memo below.
To our readers,
When the biggest political story of the year reached a dramatic and unexpected climax late Tuesday night, our newsroom turned on a dime and did what it has done for nearly two years — cover the 2016 election with agility and creativity.
After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters? What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome? Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?
As we reflect on this week’s momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.
We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers. We want to take this opportunity, on behalf of all Times journalists, to thank you for that loyalty.
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.