Joe Nocera

NYT business columnist Joe Nocera joins the sports department

That didn’t take long. A couple days after POLITICO reported that Joe Nocera’s business column would be discontinued, a staffing change has ordained that the longtime opinionator become a sports columnist for The New York Times, effective immediately.

The memo, from Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Sports Editor Jason Stallman, says Nocera will be making sense of various big sports stories in his new role: gambling, professional aspirations among the NCAA players and an infusion of big money in college football.

The biggest story in sports these days is the money that is sloshing through college sports, quasi-legal gambling, and professional soccer and football. It is the story of colleges like Rutgers struggling to compete with big money powerhouses like Ohio State. It is the story of college players pushing to be paid like professionals.

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Times public editor calls Joe Nocera column ‘intrinsically flawed,’ calls for more than a correction

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan has weighed in on a dispute between two heavyweights. In one corner is high-profile Times columnist Joe Nocera. In the other, billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

In the end, she sides with Buffett, writing that a Nocera column about Buffett is “so intrinsically flawed, a standard correction didn’t get the job done.” She’s right, for the reasons she cites and for another that I’ll note below.

Sullivan’s post focused on a pair of columns (1,2) by Nocera about Buffett and recent decisions related to executive compensation at Coca-Cola, a company in which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the largest shareholder.

Sullivan notes that both of Nocera’s columns required corrections for factual errors. But even more than the mistakes, the major concern for her is that “The entire premise of the second column is built on a mistake: that Mr. Read more


NCAA gets personal in pushing back against ‘dumb’ and ‘lame’ journalists

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is being more aggressive in highlighting what it considers inaccurate or unfair reporting, often calling out journalists by name on its website and on Twitter.

A report in the Chronicle of Higher Education looks at the increasingly personal nature of the NCAA’s attempts to push back against reporting:

As digital sources of information have exploded—and the lines among reporter, analyst, columnist, and provocateur have blurred—the NCAA has taken a harder stance against some writers. Lately those exchanges have gotten personal, with NCAA representatives referring to some journalists as “lame,” “dumb,” “pseudo-journos,” and “bad ones.”

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NCAA says NYT’s Joe Nocera faces conflict of interest; Nocera calls charge ‘bogus,’ ‘intimidation’

In a lengthy New York Times Magazine feature and two recent columns for the paper, Joe Nocera has taken a critical look at the world of student athletes and the operations of the NCAA.

In response, the NCAA contacted Poynter this week to note factual errors made by Nocera and suggest that a conflict of interest should prevent him from writing about the organization. In an email reply, Nocera said, “What the NCAA is trying to do is shut down a critic by tossing out bogus conflict of interest charges. I have no intention of being intimidated.”

It’s nothing new for the subject of a critical report to raise concerns. But does the NCAA have a valid complaint? It’s worth examining as a case study about the New York Times’ policy regarding conflicts of interest. Read more


Nocera: I’m branching out from pure business on the op-ed page
Joe Nocera points to his NCAA column as evidence of that. “But I’m not going to be a political pundit,” he tells Ted Nesi. “I’m not going to write about, you know, the Senate races and the presidential races – that’s just not what I view as kind of how my brain works.” Q-and-A excerpts:

I’m totally excited about [doing an op-ed page column]. It’s a change for me because I’ve never written anything that short before in my life – my previous column, as you know, was literally twice as long – and [the new op-ed page column is] also twice a week. But I wanted to do it the old-fashioned way. I wanted to prove that I could write short, write twice a week, and bring business – as opposed to economics – to the op-ed page.

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