Here’s What New York Times Editor Has to Say About Covering Gun Control

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson asserted that the newspaper’s coverage was balanced – singling out coverage of the debate over gun control.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 07: Executive Editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson attends the WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger at Museum of Jewish Heritage on May 7, 2013 in New York City. Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED

“I think that the news pages are not ideological; opinion is the province of our editorial and op-ed pages and the opinion section of our website,” Abramson said during an interview with Marlo Thomas.

“What I do to guard against opinion creeping too far into our news coverage is just watch it and make sure that on certain stories — guns would be one — that 100 percent of our stories aren’t told from the perspective of ‘How could Americans be so connected to their guns?’ This is to recognize that this is a deep part of American society and that we cover it from every angle,” she continued.

However, the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, cites common coverage on the matter on both the news opinion pages.

An MRC staffer referenced research from the group on a more recent over the top oped in the newspaper about guns on campaign, and also a consistent tone of coverage following the Connecticut school massacre that seemed to have a pro-gun control tone.

The focus shortly afterwards in the pages of the Times was that once pro-gun Democrats were shifting to backing gun control proposals, while the NRA was being silent.

Newsbusters, in evaluating the post-Newtown coverage, said “The Times tipped its hand when it said the outlook was ‘bleak’ for gun control legislation, as if the preferred outcome would likely be thwarted.”

More recently, the MRC cited a New York Times op-ed headlined, “When May I Shoot a Student?” by

Greg Hampikian, professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University. In was in response to a new Idaho law that allowed college students to carry guns on college campuses.