Bruce Wasserstein displayed his deal-making expertise when he swooped in at the last minute to beat out a consortium of bidders for New York that included Harvey Weinstein and Mort Zuckerman. But from that moment on, his love of journalism guided his ownership of the magazine, relying as he did on the instincts he developed as a college reporter at the University of Michigan. Unlike the private investors who often buy publications like New York, Bruce had no interest in using the magazine to advance a personal agenda. On the contrary, he had a journalist’s curiosity and took pleasure in the provocative. At monthly meetings with the magazine brain trust, he wanted to talk as much about the latest news, or politics, or shifting currents of all kinds as he did about New York itself. His ownership style was hands-off but very engaged, and he was more likely to ask questions than give directions. He had enormous respect for the institution that he was now part of, and a strong belief in the future of both print and web journalism. That belief was reflected in the deep support he showed for New York Media, both as an investor and as a proud owner. He made it possible for the website to grow into a fully complementary partner to the print magazine, yet he always loved holding the physical pages in his hands so much so that he would complain on the off-weeks of a double issue. When he bought the magazine in 2004, some wondered what he wanted with New York. It turned out that he just wanted the best possible future for it, and he had a self-interested desire to be the man who made that happen. In that sense, New York could not have had a more perfect owner than Bruce. In every possible way, he will be missed.
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Our colleagues working in print, television, and digital media air their grievances and bare their souls.The Case Against the Media, by the Media
A damning self-examination, with some uplift thrown in.Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"If you want to please people, you’re in the wrong line of work."Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"The mainstream media suffers from ADD — they cover a story and then they abandon it."National Report’s Allen Montgomery on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"I think I have a really bad reputation. But I’m a really nice guy! People have bashed me. I’m used to all that."Journalist Ana Marie Cox on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"That’s the way our business works: You have to be entertaining."Fusion’s Alexis Madrigal on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"I think the media has been too afraid to just say, 'You’re a racist.'"Slate’s David Auerbach on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"The free-content-plus-ads model in general is not working. The rise of clickbait and its ensuing decline is in fact evidence of this."Jezebel’s Clover Hope on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"There’s this idea that the woman can’t possibly be real, which is a little bit of an issue."The Marshall Project’s Bill Keller on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"The most troublesome tension is the one between the need to file immediately, because a thousand other people are filing immediately, and the time it takes to do real reporting."
"We can only make things exciting if they’re, like, happening in front of us with funny hats."The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"If there’s something that one of the candidates did that we learn about in somebody’s memoir in 20 years, that really was essential to understanding who they are — that means we failed, in my view."The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"More so than the newspapers, more so than radio stations, more so than any other segment of the media, [networks] are tremendously allergic to on-the-record accountability."The Wire’s David Simon on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"The problem for journalism is: Our actual problems are bigger, more complicated, more sprawling and complex than good guys and bad guys. And the solutions, such as they are, are often to be found somewhere in the middle."Former New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"In the atomization of media, audiences find the one that’s most gratifying to them, the one that tells them what they want to hear rather than what they don’t want to hear."The New York Times’ Dean Baquet on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"Print was this beautiful, perfect medium. You had all day to polish it. Speed was not an issue."The American Conservative’s Daniel McCarthy on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"I do think the right has more grounds to complain than the left does."Gay Talese on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"Get off your ass. You must show up. You must show up."MTV News’ Jamil Smith on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"When you talk about the internet being a bad thing, it’s inherently a strike against media diversity."NYU Professor Jay Rosen on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media
"The campaign is sort of like Christmas decorations. You bring it out every four years, set it up, and it runs the same as it always has."