By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Buried by the Globe

Drake Bennett, who writes for the Boston Globe’s Ideas section, says this today in his article on the pros and cons of private newspaper ownership:

What also worries many journalists is the issue of what happens when a newspaper owner exercises the prerogatives of ownership. William Randolph Hearst famously used his newspaper empire to drum up support for the Spanish-American War. The Sulzbergers were accused, most recently in a 1999 book by the journalists Alex Jones and Susan Tifft, of playing down the Holocaust in the pages of The New York Times out of concern that the paper would seem too Jewish.

Most recently? In fact, Bennett’s research should have quickly revealed that the definitive work on the Sulzbergers and the Holocaust was written by Northeastern journalism professor Laurel Leff and published in 2005. Her book, “Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper,” recently received the American Journalism Historians Association’s 2006 Award for Best Book in Media History. So it’s not exactly obscure.

Here’s what Seth Lipsky wrote about “Buried by the Times” in the Columbia Journalism Review last year:

The importance of Leff’s book is in helping us to understand what happened so that we can be faster on our feet and avoid the same mistakes now that a new war against the Jews is under way and a new generation of newspaper men and women are on the story.

Then again, the Globe never bothered to review Leff’s book.

By the way, the book by Tifft and Jones to which Bennett refers is “The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times,” expertly analyzed in this 2003 post by former Globe columnist David Warsh.


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2 Comments

  1. mike_b1

    Did Drake mention whether the Globe is “in play?”

  2. neil

    Since Googling “Sulzberger holocaust” brings Lett’s book up among the first few results, and since “research” is pretty much synonymous with Googling these days, you’re sure right Dan that Bennett should have noticed the book.On the other hand receiving the “American Journalism Historians Association’s 2006 Award for Best Book in Media History” is not exactly evidence that a book is not obscure. In fact…Just to complete the loop I Googled “American Journalism Historians Association” to see what other books have won that award. The AJHA site is lame. The link to the Summer 2006 archive under American Journalism is broken. No list of winners is apparent. Do I have to subscribe to their newsletter? It looks like the web site of…an obscure organization.

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