Editor & Publisher names St. Petersburg Times among '10 That Do It Right'
According to the magazine, the lineup isn't a Top 10 list of best newspapers, but a list of organizations that have found one thing in particular that is a noteworthy accomplishment and deserving of recognition.
In the Times' case, that one thing is the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, which editors praised for pivoting from election fact-checking to Obama promise-checking to pundit statement-checking in one short year.
For me, it's also a sign of the paradox facing the modern newspaper industry. Even as falling advertising revenues force cutbacks, layoffs and worse, advances in technology and the growing talent of ambitious staffs have made the actual content of some newspapers and Web sites better than ever.
For journalists these days, it is both the best of times and the worst of times. And nothing may illustrate that better than the E&P Web site, where the story on this feature sits alongside stories of coming pay cuts at the Indianapolis Star.
Below is the entry on the Times. Read the entire piece here:
"While fellow "10" honoree Star Tribune used the Web to open the ballot-counting process for all to see, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times showed how technology can super-size the traditional — and still fundamental — job of journalists: holding politicians' feet to the fire. PolitiFact was an innovative use of the Web that used both watchdog reporters and digital technology to analyze more than 750 political promises and assertions made by presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain during the elections. It won a Pulitzer for the paper, which also nabbed a second for feature writing.
But the St. Pete Times didn't stop with the election. Its "Obameter" and "Truth-O-Meter" are a continuous reality check on the administration. Now the paper has extended its online lie detector to the punditocracy, examining the claims of the right and left members of the chattering class."