Thursday, August 11th | 14 Av 5782

February 12, 2018 6:14 pm

New York Times Olympics Editor Takes Sabbath Rest From Social Media

avatar by Ira Stoll


The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times has an interview with its own “Talya Minsberg, a social strategy editor for The Times who is in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to cover the Winter Olympics.”

The article reports:

the job demands consuming a lot of media in all forms. Day to day, Twitter takes up most of my time and energy. I also dedicate a good amount of my attention to Facebook, Reddit and Instagram at the office.

I’m very much still working on how I handle the deluge. …

I’ve found it’s helpful for my mental well-being to take one day a week off from social media. For me, that’s Saturday. It feels like a weekly cleanse and sometimes it’s truly a challenge, which makes me realize just how much I really need to push myself to do it. For one day a week, I try to use my phone as one thing and one thing only: a way to text and call family and friends. Radical, isn’t it?

Now why possibly could anyone have decided to choose “Saturday” as her “one day a week off,” her “weekly cleanse,” a day to focus on family and friends instead of work, a day to cut radically back on use of technology? Where could this idea have originated?

If Minsberg’s choice has anything to do with Jewish religious tradition or the biblical commandments to remember and guard the Sabbath day, that is one connection that the Times, for whatever reason, is determined to keep a secret from its readers.

In today’s New York Times, all the old taboos or restrictions on what used to be allowed in the newspaper seem to have gone out the window. The Sunday Times book review was a sex issue, with a cartoon of an orgy on the cover and articles about sex toys and a “recovering sex and porn addict.” The Sunday Times magazine cover story is “What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.”

The sole remaining taboo topic in the Times news columns seems to be acknowledging anything positive or worth embracing in traditional Jewish religious texts or practice. For the Times, it’s news not fit to print.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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