Writer at large for New York Times Opinion, Charlie Warzel, sits down with Recode’s Peter Kafka to discuss his thoughts on how social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are handling how their users are utilizing their platforms in response to the most recent protests following the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.Featuring: Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel), writer at large for New York Times OpinionHost: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at RecodeMore to explore: Subscribe for free to Recode Media, Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians, and more to get their take on today's media landscape.About Recode by Vox: Recode by Vox helps you understand how tech is changing the world — and changing us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The coronavirus is “a nightmare scenario” for media, wrote New York Times columnist Charlie Warzel. “It is stealthy, resilient and confounding to experts. It moves far faster than scientists can study it. What seems to be true today may be wrong tomorrow.”Warzel is right. We’ve talked a lot in recent years about fake news. But combatting information we know is false is a straightforward problem compared to covering a story where we don’t know what’s true, and where yesterday’s expert consensus becomes tomorrow’s derided falsehoods. In these cases, the normal tools of journalism begin to fail, and trust is easily lost.There’s been a lot of criticism of what the media missed in the run-up to coronavirus. Some of it has been unfair. But some of it demands attention, reflection, and change. There’s also a lot the media got right, and those successes need to be celebrated and learned from. The questions raised here are hard, and go to one of the trickiest issues in journalism: how does a profession that prides itself on reporting truth cover the world probabilistically? What do we do when we simply can't know what's true, and when some of what we think we know might become untrue?Warzel covers the way technology, information, and media interact with and change each other. He’s one of the people I turn to first when I’m churning over these questions, which is…not infrequent. And so what you’re going to hear in this podcast is a bit different than the normal fare: this is less an interview-with-an-expert, and more the kind of conversation that I — and others in the media — am having a lot of right now, and that I think we at least need to try and have in public. References: What went wrong with the media’s coronavirus coverage? by Peter Kafka, RecodeWhat we pretend to know about the coronavirus could kill us, by Charlie Warzel, NYTBook recommendations: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-WellsNothing to See Here by Kevin WilsonUncanny Valley by Anna WienerIf you enjoyed this episode, check out: Is the media amplifying Trump's racism? (with Whitney Phillips)Want to contact the show? Reach out at email@example.comPlease consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webbyNew to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)Credits:Producer/Editor - Jeff GeldResearcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Charlie Warzel is a writer-at-large for The New York Times opinion page.
“I’m relying on my morals more than I normally do, but less on my gut. The stakes are just so high.”
Thanks to Mailchimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.
Warzel's archive at The New York Times
Longform Podcast #291: Charlie Warzel
Warzel on Longform
[05:08] "Please, Don’t Go Out to Brunch Today" (New York Times • March 2020)
[10:52] "Please, Listen to Experts About the Coronavirus. Then Step Up." (New York Times • March 2020)
[29:57] "They Went off the Grid. They Came Back to Coronavirus." (New York Times • March 2020)
Charlie Warzel of the New York Times joins Jody McDonald to talk about why it is so important to practice social distancing and why the cancellation and suspension of sports was a major step in the right direction.