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The Daily Show, the New York Times, and why ‘aged’ news is good

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The Daily Show’s visit to the New York Times was hilarious — “The spinning — always the spinning. Let’s see you do that, computers.” But one of the editors could have given a better answer to Jason Jones’ question about why “aged” news is better than “real” news.

The Daily Show  the New York Times  and why  aged  news is good   John TedescoJones handed assistant managing editor Rick Berke a copy of the Times and asked: “Give me one thing in there that happened today.” Berke got flustered, which was understandable with the cameras on him. The correct answer was: Nothing. Nothing in the paper happened today — but look at all the in-depth stories in the newspaper that connected dots and explained to readers what was really going on in the world.

A prime example: the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories by David Barstow, who won the prize for “his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.”

That was “aged” news. But so was Watergate. It was important information that took months to uncover and needed to be told.

Watchdog journalism keeps newspapers relevant. Yeah, it’s aged. But those are some of the best stories out there.