VICTORY: NY Times Works to Inform Readers on Budget
The New York Times‘ tendency to report on budget numbers without contextualizing them was a problem—especially in light of the recent federal budget crisis. Big numbers in articles look scary and indistinguishable to readers who don’t understand the massive scale of the federal budget. That’s why MoveOn member (and former staffer) Daniel Mintz and Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy started MoveOn Petitions to Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan, asking her to institute a policy of always reporting budget numbers with percentages or comparisons. The petitions gathered more than 20,000 signatures and prompted a public response from Sullivan, who announced that the Times was working on new ways to make numbers-based stories clearer for readers.