Last week, we were among those who wrote about the latest revelations via the Guardian about how the NSA was sharing raw communications
it had collected with Israeli intelligence. This is a big story for any number of reasons, but apparently the NY Times doesn't think so. When Public Editor Margaret Sullivan asked why, the managing editor basically said the story wasn't newsworthy
He told me that The Times had chosen not to follow the story because its level of significance did not demand it.
“I didn’t think it was a significant or surprising story,” he said. “I think the more energy we put into chasing the small ones, the less time we have to break our own. Not to mention cover the turmoil in Syria.”
So, I asked him, by e-mail, was this essentially a question of reporting resources? After all, The Times could have published an article written by a wire service, like Reuters or The Associated Press.
“I’d say resources and news judgment,” he responded.
The resources issue is one I can understand totally. Here at Techdirt, we probably cover about one quarter to one third the number of stories we'd like to (which is also why I have about a thousand open tabs of stories I'm "hoping" to get to one of these days). But to claim that it's not "significant" or "surprising" or somehow newsworthy is pretty crazy. This is a major part of the story -- where the NSA keeps insisting that it is exceptionally careful with the data it collects, yet here it is handing off a ton of communications, including those of Americans, off to a foreign intelligence agency with basically no oversight. If the NY Times doesn't think that's newsworthy, the NY Times needs to recalibrate its newsworthy scale.