New tilt?

Cynthia Tucker

Cynthia Tucker

The editorial voice of the AJC is both a blessing and a curse.  For liberals who like to see their views passionately argued in print, it’s a blessing.  It’s a curse, however, for liberals who want anybody else to actually listen to them.   Its viewpoint is so predictable that the newspaper is reviled and ignored by outstate legislators.

Cynthia Tucker has shaped that voice for years.  The Pulitzer winner’s abrupt re-assignment to Washington is a bit of a puzzle.  So is her removal, and Jay Bookman’s, from the editorial board.  This leads the New York Times to write in Sunday’s edition that “an Atlanta editorial voice may move to the right.”

Andre Jackson

Andre Jackson

Of greater import, however, is the fact that the newspaper’s editorial board will be led by Andre Jackson, a guy who has lived in Atlanta for less than a year.  Ken Edelstein has covered this issue quite well in his blog.  An Edelstein post last week apparently sparked the NYT piece (though quoted in the piece, Edelstein might understandably lament that the NYT declined to name his blog).  Edelstein, the onetime editor of Creative Loafing, is covering politics and media in Atlanta Unsheltered.  It’s a new addition to our blogroll on the right.

Edelstein told the NYT “it’s definitely a move to the right.”  The hand-wringing invariably goes back to Ralph McGill, the crusading Constitution editor who helped break the white logjam against civil rights.  But times have changed.  McGill’s voice and newspaper mattered much more in the 1950s than they do in the 21st century version of the AJC.

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

5 thoughts on “New tilt?

  1. English major

    It’s not so much bias in the editorial pages I object to – that’s where one expects to find it. It’s the liberally-biased writing of many of the AJC’s supposedly objective reporters, and the slant of the headlines, that I find disturbing. I consider myself a liberal, and even I can spot them a mile away. So it’s hard to defend their points (often good ones) to my right-leaning friends and co-workers, because I often can’t find countering viewpoints in the stories.

  2. Pingback: Bye, bye Cynthia Tucker and hello to a (gasp) more conservative editorial board at the AJC? — Peach Pundit

  3. Mike

    I honestly hope this shakeup might a positive change for the AJC’s fortunes. It’s been years since I bothered to read the editorials.

  4. Mr. Bear

    I suppose that this might be one way to raise circulation by creating controversy. If everybody in the media is as liberal as they seem to be, maybe by coming up with a conservative editorial voice, the liberal readership will buy the AJC just to keep their blood pressure up. That is, if everything has the same tone, how will the activists stay outraged?

    In any case, after some brief conversations with my fellow dive-bomber conservatives, I’m not sure that the change in editorial tone is going to change the buying patterns of the community. Many of those who are conservative have left the AJC and moved on to other outlets; others, such as my craven self, are too lazy to drop the paper. If I want good conservative opinion, there are plenty of other places that do it better than the AJC can. That might change in the future, but they’re really going to have to work at it before it takes.

    What I am concerned about, as is LAF, is that those who are now writing local stories have no experience base with the community. Those who know what they write about also know that the pseudo-activists who come out of the woodwork are just that, not true representatives of the community. There’s a guy who shows up at DeKalb Commission meetings with rented demonstrators who looks legitimate until you investigate just a bit. Now, with a new cast of characters down at the paper, he’s got fresh opportunity to work his magic.

    So, the weekday paper looks like it is going to be tabloid-lite, with any possible heavy hitting happening with the Sunday number. If they’re going to get traction with the community, they will need to get into a big controversy about something, just to draw attention to the change in editorial voice. Besides, Cynthia Tucker will feel right at home in DC.

  5. Pingback: 10 Atlanta media moments, 2009 « live apartment fire

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