In the last year, The New York Times has experimented with different ways to respond to high-stakes criticism of its reporting.

When took the fight to The New York Times on Medium in October for a report that exposed the company's grueling pace, the paper responded in kind. And this afternoon, when the NFL published a critique of a Times investigation that tied the football league's methods to those of big tobacco, the paper issued a rebuttal of its own on Twitter:

There's a kind of symmetry to the rebuttals. Medium, which has grown into a water cooler for media and tech types, was the ideal venue for Amazon to respond to The Times — and for The Times to fire back. Likewise, Twitter, which is a second-screen hub for much of the chatter around sporting events, is a natural place for The Times to answer the NFL's accusations.

The message seems to be: For maximum effect, respond to your critics where most of the relevant audience is.