tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 6, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
did on the conditions at nail salons across the country, 5 million people read it. go to the print era where you have to readers of the print paper, that would've been unimaginable. my view, people want to read smart, sophisticated stories in every format. my job as the editor of "the new york times" is to figure out ways to make stories in every format as smart as all full and hard-hitting as possible. all evidence is we can do that. jack: arthur, a year ago you received report of your innovations committee. called for many changes. a main point was stop being so complacent about your readership.
for decades, "the times" has worked provides a highest quality coverage. but that is no longer good enough in the internet era. the innovations report encourage what he called "audience development." find a variety of ways to reaching out to potential readers. how have you responded? arthur: a great question. in the business and newsroom. i want to go back to the earlier. when i gave the 800,000, i forgot, i can clear it up. it is 1.1 million print subscribers when you included the weekend. i want to get the number of back to where it belongs on the weekend, sunday paper. the innovation report was a wonderful wake-up call. as you might recall, it was written on behest of dean and jill abramson, then the executive editor and empower 18
of some of our best journalists to look deep it ourselves. and then it was leaked. it was never written to be linked. at first, without it was awful. only a few days later that we realize the power of what had happened. people around the world embraced the fact that "the times" had the courage to do a deep journalistic dive on its self and really say what is what we are done right and what we must improve on. and i've got to say within a month, i cannot tell you how many calls i received from other newspaper publishers around the world asking for too common meet with the people who did the innovation report. it really was a wonderful wake-up call. when dean became executive editor at the same time, one of his first steps was to reach to
our business side and take out and make for a mass executive in charge of audience development. as you noted, one of the great findings was the journalists must take greater responsibility for building their audience. welcome to the world of social media. fewer people come to our home page and more to want to engage with our journalism on facebook and other platforms. how do we get people to engage in that way? and -- i dare you to name the last business side person who became a head executive on the other side. there isn't any. it was a really bold move.
it has worked extremely well. well done subsequent work to say here is what we're door right and what we need to push -- what we are doing right and what we need to push harder. as soon as you catch up, the digital universe shifts. you have to start saying, it is not as much about the search as he used to be. it is now more about social. how do we adapt? dean: the audience of the new york times has risen by 25%. i am an editor who wants the journalism of "the new york times" to have impact. i do not want to do big, lush investigative stories and have them going to vacuum were nobody reads it down. we have tools to make sure more people read. that is terrific. arthur: when you look at the
times globally, almost 75 million users. jack: let me head back to the relationship with business and news side. jennifer spoke about trust in the times. traditionally the time to try to maintain the trust by scrupulously maintaining a chinese wall between new side and business side. now, they are not just two sides, there are the three sides -- print news, business, and technology. an example was the wonderful work on nail salon workers. in my day, "the times "the times when" launched a series, it would be a splash on page one on sunday. this one was launched online and on thursday. it led some print subscribe that
why are we getting the stale stuff on sunday. arthur: to be clear, very few complained. [laughter] we are learning and adapting. if you do not have the courage to try new things and grow, you are going to fail. that is the reality of the world we are in. i applaud what the dean and his colleagues did which is to increasingly say let's put the story out when the story is ready. there are some people who are going to read it then and others will read it later on a different -- in print.
not about the device. when i say device, i mean print as well. as you so eloquently stated from decades ago, we must of the platform agnostic. go to where the people are. and increasingly that means mobile. and as you probably know, we are doing a test right now at "the new york times." >> -- dean: there is a myth, is remarkable to me as much as people look at journalism and journalists and newspaper so closely how ignorant we are of the history. act as l.a. times if i had a big project that was going to run about orange county government that was the giant next to l.a., next to a life and death competition. if i had a big story that was going to run about orange county, i would go to the circulation director and say please tell me which today you will have the most papers distributed in orange county.
if they said to me, monday, i would run it on monday. to me, the question i asked myself, i want a story to be read. i wanted to have impact. i am fundamentally an idealist about journalism and the idea i want as many people to read it. i want it to have impact. i wanted things to change as result of hard-hitting stuff. the only way you could do it is to be widely read. this permits arthur is referring to is to make sure everybody in the building knows how many of our readers are on the phone. we made it so if you type onto your laptop, it takes you to the phone app. jack: which side of the chinese wall is audience development lie on? dean: my view is it lies, part on my side.
probably a little bit in advertising. can i back of one thing? the chinese wall has never been in newspapers between newsrooms and the entire business side. that was never the case. there is always been promotion. the wall of existence between newsrooms and advertising. not a newsrooms and technology. not newsrooms and circulation. not newsrooms and promotion. that has always been the case. jack: talking about audience development, what new forums lie ahead? i would be interested in your experiments with instant articles on facebook and apple's new news app. dean: what kind of stories are
we doing? jack: i can make a complicated question. [laughter] risking a lot when you give these articles out for free. dean: here to me is the risk. i keep going back to wanting to be read. the biggest risk is not the goal where your readers are area the biggest risk is to not to go to places where there are millions and millions of people who want to read. the biggest risk is to stay out of that world. that is why we felt we had to experiment with people like facebook and apple. jack: if the experiment is not making any money? arthur: that is not the case. if you do not risk knowing you will not fail, you will fail automatically.
you know the famous case. umm -- what was the? i am blessed without the next. the titanic fallacy. the titanic fallacy is the question, what was the fatal flaw of the titanic? some people will say, you know the captain trying to set a world's speed record. some people note they do not have enough lifeboats. some they do not build the walls high a note to ensure it was "unsinkable." the answer is none of that. even if the tide has safely made it to new york harbor, it was still doomed.
because a few years earlier, two brothers had invented the airplane. [laughter] so, we are in the world where we must shift -- the industry is great and it is there and we have boats for all of you. we must become an airplane company, too. that means trying things testing, having the courage to invest and not just financially. and say, that work on how do we build on it? and that did not work, next. that's what we're trying to do. the key point, you have to increasingly go where the audience is. that does not mean our journalism is going to change but our presentation may change. the way we scroll on the small devices is totally different experience than on a laptop. we have to adapt. jack: let me ask dean a question.
a lot of airplanes in the air now and they are faster and more -- more nimble -- dean: but they are not better. jack: the tradition of careful editing, going way into late-night deadlines. a lot of nimble startup sites, including welcome honestly be called parasites. [laughter] jack: how do you compete? dean: whenever there's a big news story, if you want to use the example of the plane crash in the alps. people go to "the new york times" by the millions.
first, we break the story is pretty secondly, we do not make mistakes. certainly because -- i will get to those. we are indeed a human enterprise. we do make mistakes. let's keep going. anyway, the new york times is fully edited as it was in print. people still come to us for news. if you ask me, who my biggest competitors are, largely the same competitors we had in the pre-digital era. the news organizations, and some european papers. "the party and -- "the guardian," "the wall street journal," they keep me up at night and they kept me up and i 20 years ago. arthur: i want to go back to mistakes. i've said, we make mistakes.
what the dean is saying it's really important in this sense. we are both seen the being such a critical element in digital age more so than earlier print era. everyone wants to be first. all of a sudden, competitors and throwing up photos of the boston bombers. oops. turns out they were not the boston bombers. they were innocent kids. people were saying the supreme court has ruled on the health care bill. and then, going out with the wrong ruling. we -- what dean is trying to say is we pride accuracy so much that we are prepared -- we are not prepared to be first and wrong. we are prepared to be fourth
fifth and right. that is a core value. dean: let me inject some humility into my answer. here is what we try to do -- i'm not -- the supreme court issues its ruling on the obama administration's health care plan. we knew it would be this huge, complicated ruling. we knew if we tried to assess it quickly in real-time we would get it wrong. we wrote a memo on our website and said that. please indulge us. give us time to read it. what other organizations did they read the first half -- the ruling flipped in the middle. we did not. we waited as adam said there was enough time to write it. we work really hard not to make mistakes.
we don't let speed -- i understand that the greatest currency we have is that we work hard to be accurate, edited and truthful as possible. i understand i cannot squander that. jack: i've talked to some talented tech people who said they left ""the times"" because the news department people patronized them as service assistance rather than recognizing them as innovative partners. is that a fair criticism? dean: i bet you that is a fair criticism. i bet there was a period -- i will hope that the assessments would be different now, but i bet people would have said for a long time that we did not quite understand how much technology people in the whole of "the new york times" had to offer.
arthur: dean made another important hire in kinzie wilson. dean hired a new head of digital who used to be at npr. kinzie came to "the times", but what happened is after he settled in the newsroom as the head of digital, our new ceo mark thompson, recognized yes, that is who we need on the business side as well. kinzie wilson is a joint report to dean and our ceo with technology reporting to him across.
that is critical because what we need to do is be faster and be more nimble. we need to make decisions less complex. in other words, i don't have to have seven bosses, each of whom have three. that speed to market issue is a critical one and, to your point of critics you have spoke with it does empower our digital team, news and business, to feel equal. jack: two different people. mccallum and kinzie wilson, do they have revenue obligations? dean: direct revenue obligations? if you increase the size of the audience, you increase the number of subscribers. you get more advertisers. does she have any direct revenue
obligations? she does. it is part of the business side largely. it tries to design stuff for the future. in the world of print, it would've been the group of people who created the food section. but now, we are likely to take products out of the journalism we produce. arthur: let's not pretend they started to rethink the paper back in the 1970's that there was not fundamental need for revenue. they recognized they had to meet that. this is not unique. this is just transferring that to a digital era. jack: what papers do you read in the morning? [laughter]
dean: i start out by looking at "the new york times" on the phone to find out what i missed at night. partly to get a sense of experience. i read "the new york times" pretty thoroughly in print. i read "the journal," "the post," "the guardian." "the washington post." [laughter] arthur: no, but then i read the new york post on the subway. i don't pretend i read every word. dean: i spin through other sites that have specific stuff. i look at courts for business stuff and media stuff. if -- a lot of it depends on the big news story of the day is.
we look at buzzfeed or reddit. i look at facebook pretty regularly which gives me a glimpse into old another realm -- into a whole other realm. jack: do you tweet? arthur: i don't. dean: there was a famous quote from sally who said you could work for "the times" or you could read it. but you cannot do both. [laughter] i sometimes feel -- unlike dean, i go to it first on my phone. that is how i will catch up on the morning reading stuff. nyc is engaging.
what i have learned is i go to the pieces that we suggest we go to. jack: i want to ask a business question. why is digital advertising so cheap when it produces relatively little revenue compared to print even though it has many more readers? arthur: that is a great question to ask google. the first reason is the cost is much less. the cost of producing digital advertising is less. obviously, there is no paper, no trucks, no mailers and drivers.
the cost of getting digital advertising is significantly less than print. that is one reason. the second is there are so many places to go. what we are learning over time is how little affect some of those places really have on affecting actual purchasing. but, it is a evolving process. many of our advertisers recognize the value of both. there are times you want to be in print because it has a much greater sale possibility. people will actually focus on it and make a purchase decision. if you are telling a story digital is a remarkable tool. one of the great creations of our head of revenue is the creation of an in-house storytelling lab for advertisers to use. that has been, that branded content has become a great tool
for advertisers. that is not a little pop-up ad that is an immersive experience. people really do gravitate to that. there are lots of new digital tools we are using and getting better at. dean: that leads to the ultimate financial question. jack: even assuming, how is your pension doing? [laughter] jack: not the same as yours. even assuming you succeed in developing a larger digital audience, given how cheaply people can buy digital advertising, can you generate the serious revenue necessary to pay for quality journalism? $200 million a year.
arthur: the answer is yes. we have to do that. the mission of "the times" has not changed since it was founded in 1851, since 1896. that mission has to be funded. that is to produce the quality journalism that attracts a quality audience that we in turn sell to quality advertisers. but, the value of our subscription plan, digital subscription plan has made it such that it is much -- it is as much getting the readers to engage with us in such a way that they say yes, this subscription is worth it as it is to build that advertising base, also critical. as we go back to those original numbers, the subscription value print or digital is one of the core that will give us the ability to support that journalism that they are doing
so well. again, dean, congratulations on your pulitzer prizes. let's not pretend advertising is not a critical part of the picture. jack: understood. arthur: it is a combination of the two. the final thought i have is as we continue to grow and continue to grow our base of readers that advertiser will play a deeper role. it is an evolving picture and it is getting better. jack: dean, i want to ask you a question as a sometime victim.
dean: you or me? jack: you. how are the public editors' jobs working out? dean: i used to think when i was at the l.a. times, we had a discussion about whether we should have a public editor. the late john carroll and i decided not to. i have to say i think having a public editor is a great thing. i'm surprised i feel that way. [applause] dean: i think it is a great thing for budget reasons. first off, i think it gives people -- even though in the digital era, many people can criticize. it is not hard to get to us. it does give people a sense that the institution is listening even though i have no power over her. she can criticize me and she
often does. she -- i think people feel like there is some place they can go in the institution. i think she is often right when she beats us up. i think even when she is wrong she is reasonable and fair. it is probably not a bad idea for newspaper editors to understand what it is like to be on the other end of criticism and questions. even though there are times when i would like to sort of lock her in her office and unplug her computer, in the long run, it is good -- i'm speaking of margaret largely because she has been editor in my time -- it is a good institution. it has been helpful for the paper. i support it now. jack: let me ask one more question and we'll turned to the audience.
arthur, critics sometimes cry nepotism about the fact that you -- [laughter] jack: and your son and half a dozen other family members -- arthur: i thought you would be attacking my father. [laughter] arthur: say something nasty about punch? jack: let me in large the question then. [laughter] jack: the fact is that kind of criticism has seemed to be misguided. it ignores the fact that other famous journalism families like the chandlers in los angeles the binghams in louisville, the cancrofts. it goes into second-generation. they get greedy or some members
of the family want to sell shares and the papers subsequently lose the determination to put out a quality product. how does the family, now into a fifth-generation, managed to assure the same thing does not happen to "the new york times"? arthur: that is a good question and one my family has been working on for many years. there was a story in the paper yesterday that noted that only -- the number of family businesses that can move from third-generation to fourth-generation is 3%. only 3%. jack: not just newspapers. arthur: all family businesses. we are now looking at the transition to a fifth generation where there are six members
currently working at "the new york times" which is very exciting. they are working in the newsroom, the business side. and doing amazing work. the family has a fundamental commitment. we have this wonderful trust created by our great-grandfather that lays out the mission of the company and the mission of the company is to protect the quality journalism. the mission makes no mention of profitability. there are eight family trustees. we are responsible to the b-shares. they elect the majority of the board of directors. we meet as a family at least twice a year. once for a two-day meeting to learn about how the business is going and engage with andy
rosenthal, your successor, dean and their news and business colleagues. and hear how the business is going. then, we have a meeting, a family reunion to remind ourselves we are a family and that we just have a great love for each other. it is something we have invested an enormous amount of time and effort in and making those connections deeper as the family grows is something we take seriously. jack: another generation? arthur: no question at all. there is no question about that. jack: let's turn to the audience. there are microphones on both sides. let me ask that you, number one, keep questions short because they will be a lot of people who want to ask questions. number two, in order to maximize the number of questions, please let's take three questions at
once and we will answer those successively. the left side? >> my name is victor. i started reading in junior high school when they gave us a discounted copy i would bring home and you suckered me in. [laughter] >> i started working and reading the wall street journal. i also read the financial times. my impression is that -- i know "the new york times" is doing buy-outs. the headcount is going down. i know sections have disappeared. the style section is gone. metro is folded into the first part. chess is gone, bridge is gone. culture seems not as deep as it was. the journal on the other hand is
no longer family-owned -- they have added a new york section. they have added a section my wife likes to read. some of the names i read in "the times" are going over there. it seems to be increasing their coverage. why the difference? jack: we are holding off for three questions. sir? >> i used to work for some of you. [laughter] >> i thought i was here for part of the discussion -- some kind of emotional commitment to the print paper other than the kind of business this is. i desperately want to keep the printed paper. i would like to be assured that the digital paper, the one on a screen, will look like it does now like a newspaper on the web
so that the model is the paper the paper we started with. jack: ok. >> i would like to know why "the new york times" signed an agreement with peter to promote his book. i would like to know why amy another right-winger, covers hillary clinton. i thought "the new york times" was posted be fair and balanced. [laughter] [indiscernible] dean: that is not accurate. amy and he was a reporter who covered media. she worked for the wall street journal. >> there is right-wing bias. dean: i actually would disagree
with you. she was a reporter for the wall street journal. we did not sign an agreement. that has been mischaracterized. we took information from him as we take information from any other service. >> [indiscernible] [laughter] dean: we take information from all kinds of crackpots. [laughter] dean: that is called reporting. when i spent my time as an investigative reporter, you take information, you checked it and you use it accurately. i think that is an inaccurate portrayal of amy. arthur: i would love to respond to the wall street journal question. there were a lot of editorials
-- i think it is a good journalistic institution. there are better in covering business but that is your personal point of view. i had a meeting today with about a dozen of our new hires, three of whom were from the journal. so, at least two, maybe three. we lose people sometimes and they go to bloomberg or the journal or elsewhere, but this is a circle and we get people from the journal as well as others. the quality of the journalism and their integrity is the critical part of their being hired. can i say -- the first question -- yes, we have made a lot of adaptations for "the times" in the last 15 years. we have been forced to. sometimes it was cut because of the financial pressures we were under.
we adapted to a new era. let's also note we have more foreign journalists today than ever in our history. all right? we are investing in our journalism. has there been cuts? absolutely. have we been hiring back? yes. we have the same number of journalists in "the new york times" as we had 5, 10 years ago? more than when you were there. we had more national correspondents than ever. we have created new sections. how many bureaus? dean: 40. 18 professional bureaus and 32 national bureaus. arthur: at the time when so many of our competitors at "the washington post" and "the l.a. times" have really cut back on their foreign and national -- having people there -- we have
been investing. we created new sections. t magazine was a famous section we launched. men's fashion more recently. we are finding more ways but it is a bit of a change. change can sometimes be tough. dean: for one not say anything critical of the news coverage of the journal or ft, those are good competitors. i think you will find they also had to cut. i think you will find they had to close sections. this is a really difficult time in the life of newspapers. i think the core of what we try to do is to hold on to the stuff that defines us and the stuff that i suspect most people in this room care most about. that stuff we have not cut at all. i think every news organization has had to rethink how it does business in little bit, but we will protect mightily the core of the coverage.
jack: let's agree there are many people in this audience who adore print. it is our responsibility to keep print going. [applause] arthur: for as long as we can. it could be going away anytime soon so please do not walk away thinking that. obviously, the degree to which people subscribe to print and get home delivery really matters. if you people want to keep print alive, get more of your friends and family to subscribe. home delivery. thank you so much. jack: i thought you were going to say the number. 1-800 -- ma'am?
>> i'm a former employee of the u.s. department of state for foreign service. i live in harlem. i'm a home subscriber. i was writing letters to you to get to the five w's in the first paragraph please. thank you. now, i just want to say two conversations -- one is thank you for the nice stories on my law enforcement, nypd. second of all, thanks for giving me more stories in the travel section on america. thank you. [applause] arthur: thank you. jack: ma'am?
>> during sweeps week, i had a conversation with a press representative from the marine corps who had traveled through the middle east with secretary gates. he was very candid in saying the military will ask a national press to cold stories because of the sensitivity of the u.s. relations with arab countries. i wonder what kind of criteria "the times" would apply holding a story? how high up in the organization does the decision go? jack: very good question. dean: can i take that one? >> i'm a professor at political theory here. none of the questions so far have really addressed in the future of journalism at "the new york times". i wondered what your thoughts are about that. that is to say is the constitution of news going to be different 10 years from now and
what role do you see "the times" playing in that new constitution? jack: good question. dean: can i take a cut at that one? the way it works is anytime anybody from the government wants to ask that a story be held or that anything be taken out of a story, it has to come directly to me. sometimes there are obvious cases where all of news organizations do not publish things and i wonder if that is what your friend was talking about. that is the basic stuff like if you are embedded with a military group because you are covering the war and they are about to do a land invasion on tuesday at 6 p.m. nobody will put that in the newspaper. land invasion expected in three hours, keep an eye out.
that is a basic tenet of journalism. what you are talking about is when somebody wants to ask national security -- it has to come to me. i would say 95% of the time, i say no. i can think of a couple of times when i said yes. i can think of at least one time when i said yes and came to regret it because it was a mistake. i think i did not consult enough reporters. there is a very tiny, tiny number of instances in which it is very, very clear that it would jeopardize a life. that is pretty much my criteria. i don't buy the argument that it is going to jeopardize relationships with a foreign government.
in every instance, when that has become the reason, i always say no. the times i have said yes, which would have been years ago, i have come to regret them. my rule is you've really got to make the case that it would put somebody's life in danger. there were a very small number of cases that i said yes as a result. i think there is a mythology that somehow the government comes in and wields its muscle with us. these are really, really difficult decisions. >> arthur, would you like to tell the story's about being summoned to the white house? [laughter] >> no, not really. although it has happened. most obviously with president bush. not herbert walker. george w.
this was the case of internal wiretapping in effect. we had held off on that story for a while. for good reason. over time, we saw the reasons they had given up to hold back on those stories. national security is a serious issue. those reasons seems to have less and less value. when we got to the point when we were going to go with the story that is when the president called and we had a good discussion and we ran the story. that happens on occasion. it happened on occasion when we ran the story. >> the bay of pigs. >> the bay of pigs. we knew that it was being planned and the president asked us not to print the story.
we printed the fact that we were training. that there was a training process going on, but we did not say, by the way, we are going to be invading the bay of pigs. he held that the publisher afterward. if only you would have printed that story, you would have saved me from this. >> i want to give a specific example. this is one of those questions that is really important. i think there is a mythology that big news organizations like mine sit on stuff all the time. i let our wikileaks coverage.
when we got together and we worked with the julian assange. the agreement we had was that the new york times would take the lead in showing them sensitive stuff. there was one particular cable that i thought was one of the most remarkable cables ever. it was a cable that described gadhafi's visit to the united states and it was this richly detailed portrait of what his requirements would be in his hotel. it was really richly detailed. who he traveled with. he traveled with three female nurses. how he was in such bad physical shape. please don't give him a hotel room with stairs.
we were about to put that whole cable in the "new york times." the guardian was going to use it. julian assange was going to use it. the government called up and said, take a closer look at that cable. do you see the names at the bottom that describes the various people who are accompanying gadhafi on this trip. who do you think gave us all of that information? what do you think is going to happen to them when gadhafi sees that cable in the "new york times" with a description of how he is in horrible shape is a little bit of a nut job, etc.. not only did i agree to hold that cable back until later when he died, julian assange agreed to hold it back and "the guardian" decided to hold it back. to the future of journalism question, i think that
journalism will look profoundly better 10 years from now then today. if you look at the coverage -- i will use ours, not to be arrogant, but because it is what i am most intimate with -- if you use the coverage of ebola and you think about what the coverage of ebola would have looked like in a predigital era it would have been fine, it would have been fabulous. you would have had great newspaper stories. you would have had great photography, courageous journalists, all of that stuff. you would not have had the videos on the new york times website that described one young man rising outside of a hospital with his parents screaming because there was not room for him in the hospital. you would not have the video on the website produced by us in which an ambulance driver drove through the streets of monrovia looking for ebola victims whose
families did not want to touch them. let's put over here the debate over print versus digital. journalism is better today than it ever was because there were many more tools. i grew up in new orleans. i grew up reading afternoon newspapers. i only had access to one newspaper. the same kid who grows up in new orleans now has access to as many newspapers as he can push a button four. he has access to video and he has access to the whole world. we should not get so caught up in the debates over the form and we should not get so caught up in some of the romantic aspects of journalism, which i grew up in, to forget that it is better and will be better 10 years from now. [applause]
>> let me at a ps2 that. -- let me add a p.s. to that. could you talk about the future journalism of iphone cameras? [laughter] >> you mean that reporters can take their own pictures now? >> that anybody can. >> i am passionate about the future of journalism. my god, we are now seeing an upheaval in the way police departments are covered. we are seeing cases that we would never have seen. for those who are interested in history, imagine if iphone cameras that existed during this had existed during the civil rights movement. imagine what we would have seen. this stuff is better for us. it may be hard and it may give me a headache but this stuff is
better for the country and better for society. >> i think we turned a corner this year on video. i think the editor we put in charge of video pulled it off. when video was first introduced to the newsroom, the videos were almost like "wayne's world." [laughter] >> it was heartbreakingly bad. not because of the videographers. it is because we did not know what to do with it. we thought it put to particularly not attractive reporters and editors to sit at the table and talk clumsily as they looked at their watches. one of those was david carr and it did work very well. i was speaking of myself. the video for ebola you are
allowed to submit 10 things for a pulitzer. at least two possibly three of the stories we submitted were videos. i think the new york times has cracked the code of journalism. not just us by the way. it has enhanced us and has made us better. >> if i can note that our editorial side has also done extraordinarily well. there are other elements that we make use of now that are also fabulous. these are really insightful pieces that really engage an audience and advertisers also love that experience. >> next question. >> good evening. i'm a student at columbia university. going back to the nail salon story. that story was available in more
languages than english. they wanted to target the audience most likely affected by the subject matter. to what extent might multilingualism become a part of the "new york times"? >> this is gabe sherman, a writer at "new york magazine." what rolled are you hope your son will play at the new york times in the future? how a succession different this time around than when your father was running the paper and you were rising? >> a third question and maybe even a fourth. >> i am paul. thanks for your work over your careers. it is a great part of my life. you talked about building audience. as you start to have your journalistic home become a social media brand, is there a risk of becoming -- diluting the
"new york times" brand? >> three good questions. multilingual. we translated that particular story into four languages. if i'm not mistaken. curry ended extraordinarily well. it was just remarkable -- korean did remarkably well. it was just remarkable. you are going to see more and more of that. we have a chinese language website that has been blocked by the chinese government ever since we did an amazing story about the wealth and corruption of the wealth of chinese leaders ' families. but, you know, this is a great opportunity for us. we are already a global news organization, not only digitally, but in print.
global is the next great step for us. it is one that we have news working very diligent on to find the right way to make things happen. that would be that question. >> could i add to that question? i can detect this is an audience who cares deeply about the public service mission of journalism, as well as the economic mission. part of the reason you translate a story like the nail story is because it would be heartbreaking to do a major investigative piece about people who you think were being abused and it was not available to them. for my money, translating it was not just an audience growth effort, it was a if we can figure up a way so the people who are most impacted by the story, i feel it could is my
obligation to make that happen. [applause] >> our promise to members of the family who come and want to work at the new york times and have the skill set necessary to be part of it is to give them careers. it is not to give them any specific job but to give them careers. we have also created a process a well thought through process to begin thinking about how to we build a successful career for individual family members in such a way that when the time comes to -- for me to announce a successor which by the way is not tonight, so [laughter] put down your pens -- [laughter] >> that we have a problem that involves our board of directors they have a stake in this. the family. because they have a stake in it.
the trustees who represent the family and a context like this. and management -- because they have a stake in it. we have created a part of our process to do just that and to begin to that, too old careers and guide those who wish to take more senior positions into that process in a more thoughtful way. and the very core of it is process. that is perhaps what is most missing in the previous generational shift, a clearly defined, understood laid out process that all of the members of the fifth-generation understand and get in work on. -- and work on. >> i did not register -- did you -- >> [indiscernible] >> the journalist brand.
>> tell me if i got this right. by putting journalism on facebook, is that diluting the brand? is that the question. >> the journalism social media brand. i totally get that. i remember david carr was speaking to us about that very subject. do we risk building the brand of the journalist out separate from the new york times brand? and the answer is, yeah. by the way, was there a brand called study rest and? was there a brand called bill safire? we have had journalists to have gone out and made successful careers. so, you can't let fear get in
the way of moving forward, and yet, we do have journalistic brands like david carr, god bless that wonderful man. so, they would say we are committed to the mission. do we lose talented journalists, yes, but that has been true for a long time, right? >> it works both ways. it sells his column on the editorial age. arthur: oh, yes, nick and cheryl, amazing. >> [indiscernible] i blog at the huffington post. i think we know the times is the greatest newspaper that has ever existed and i still applaud a
lot of your series. i particularly applaud the justice series in the bronx that your son did. and i think that was a fabulous series. but is that where your audiences? and do you always want to go where the audiences? sometimes you have to lead to where they don't want to go -- the bronx. [laughter] >> and i'm a little nervous about the emphasis on the video. is the times becoming another form of television? is that a danger? where has television let us? -- led us? >> there's a number of questions -- >> hello. you have talked about the use of technology is a presentation tool. my question is, what is your vision of how to leverage technology as a data-gathering
tool? >> first of all, thank you for that kind comment. by the way, i do not know what you feel that people do not naturally want to go to the bronx. i am sorry you have that bias. i like the bronx myself. it does not matter how many people are going to come to a story we write about the war in afghanistan or the situation in iraq. are we going to cover that? yes. because that is our commitment and we would not be driven to say, well, nobody cares anymore about that. that's not the way it's going to go. so, there is a commitment we have to the core journalism that is fundamental. at an investigative series. some do spectacularly. some do not do as well.
this is a commitment that is fundamental to our core purpose. if we lose that, sir then we will lose our reason for being. we will lose the audience that values the times, and that is the end of our ability to translate our financial future. there is a correlation that is critical. does that mean we also need to have great restaurant reviews, have great fashion coverage? of course. those things are also true. but how many people read the rikers island series that we did? i can't tell you the answer to that and i don't care. because that was fundamental. do i turn this over to you? >> yes. i would say if you looked at -- let's say the last 15 investigative projects the new york times did, which would include rikers, the these we did
about three weeks ago about three quarters housing, which would include the nail salon series, the story about the death of eric garner. i do think you said something important, that one of our jobs is to show people a world they might not have otherwise have seen. that fits perfectly into the mission. what i would say to the question about the commitment to use technology and newsgathering, i do not know how many of you follow the upshot -- the upshot, i did not create it, so i can say jenna elder the creator of -- one of the creators of the upshot is in the audience. david's goal is to look for ways to use data to jump on big stud -- stories of the day.
>> he thinks that that is not big enough. would you say while? and it is a mix of graphics people, writers, editors and their goal -- >> relate that to 538. >> 538 was its predecessor. 538 largely flourished in the campaign. it was part of the new york times -- i can't remember the name of the guy who ran it. i am kidding. >> silver? >> shall be, there we go. arthur: anyway, he left and he
took 538 with him -- 6dean: anyway, he left and he took 538 with him. does not just do politics. but they do great stuff. it is a portrait of middle-class america. it is a whole range of reporting. >> gentlemen, thank you so much for coming. [applause] >> we will be headed back to columbia, south carolina shortly where state lawmakers will be returning from recess to continue debate over removing the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.
the rebel flag has flown over some parts of the statehouse for more than 50 years, as nbc reports. details as to when the flag would come down, whether another one would be put in its place or what kind of ceremony would mark the removal has not yet been decided. we will take you back for that debate shortly. while we wait, here is a look at the supreme court ruling from washington journal. supreme court decision that could affect how the house is shaped in the coming years. the supreme court upholds the arizona map. what did the supreme court decide? guest: the supreme court ruling is complicated and contradictory as times.
the supreme court has had a hard time making up its mind on redistricting issues. they said all legislative districts had to be drawn with equal populations. but now there are questions in terms of what is fair to draw on a racial basis. also, how gerrymandering should be allowed or deterred. in this case, arizona was one of several states across the country to employ redistricting commissions, commissions that were separate from the state legislature. after the 2010 census, the redistricting commission drew lines for congressional elections that republicans alleged were stacked against them. the independent tiebreaker side d with the commissioner.
if you were to draw a map that simply incorporated regular shapes at random, you would end up with a republican leaning map in arizona. but they sued and to the supreme court because they argue that independent redistricting commissions aren't constitutional. after all, it says that it should be determined by each state. so the supreme court had to wrestle with whether to interpret this with a strict space or a loose a. the majority decided to interpret this loosely.
to say that these commissions are a tool. host: let's take a quick look at article one, section four of the constitution. the section says that the times places and manner of holding the elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof, the congress may make such regulations. how many states use these commissions? how long has that been in existence? did it come about by the legislature or the citizens? guest: it came about by referendum. there are only seven states that have commissions responsible for redistricting.
seven states only have one member of congress. arizona and california are the two states that have passed commissions that are truly independent. arizona's isn't even entirely independent. this ruling really have the potential -- really had the potential to influence politics. if the supreme court had argued that voters aren't allowed to bypass the referendum, it could have thrown these maps back to the drawing board. publicans could have added several more seats in arizona, democrats could have added more in california.
it would have continued the pattern that we see in the majority of states. it would have maximized their own opportunities at the expense of the minority party. it would have inflated their edge in the state legislature. host: is there any indication that this will lead other states to using these independent commissions? guest: this is a victory for performers. theirere is no guarantee for future success. it is worth noting that not all of them and up producing maps that produce competitive elections. in new jersey, both parties have a certain number of the appointees. you end up still with a partisan map. in new jersey, we haven't seen a
lot of competitive congressional elections. the question is, how many states have the willpower to bypass legislature? how many have the power to bypass the rules in place? who will fund these efforts from state for state -- from state to state? democrats are at a benefit. it is a lot of democrats right now who are pushing for this good government reform, or so they say. so democrats have to be careful not to let this come across as a partisan agenda to pass similar commissions in states. in reality, they know they would be at a disadvantage.
host: david wasserman is with us. we are talking about the arizona decision, but more broadly talking about the issue among the states. 202-748-8000, democrats. 202748 8001, republicans. in the case of arizona, is there any indication of who this benefits russian ? guest: there are a couple of winners. kyrsten sinema, she is a democrat who was first elected in 2012 when a ninth district was created in arizona.
that district was drawn as a competitive district to incorporate parts of scottsdale. she ran for that and onewon it. had republicans been able to draw that districts to their liking, that would have been inhospitable to a democrat. under the current map, she has a good shot at staying in congress for quite a while. it should be said that republicans in california who are at risk of losing their seats, they could have been at risk if democrats in sacramento had managed to undo the sacramento commission. there are democrats who are happy with what this potentially does to reform efforts.
in terms of the immediate political benefits, i think it is even. host: in the minority opinion to the supreme court, there was a lot of objection to the expanding of the term "legislature." guest: that is understandable. it seems pretty explicit in the constitution that this is an issue for state legislatures to deal with. it is very difficult to imagine that the framers could have anticipated the sophisticated gerrymandering that goes on in states all across the country. particularly with areas of polarization that we are seeing, geographically. with mapmakers, they can separate voters.
according to our index, the number of host: is that because of the redistricting across the country? guest: several things are in play. more americans are choosing to live in communities where their neighbors agree with their own political perspective and values. >> we do leave the rest of this conversation. you can find it online www.c-span.org, take you back to the statehouse and columbia, south carolina where they continue the debate on removing the confederate flag from the state house grounds. >> mr. gregory? absent.
mr. grooms. mr. grooms is present to read mr. hayes. mr. hembree. present. mr. jackson. present. mr. caps on -- kimpson. present. mr. leatherman. present. mr. lourie. mr. malloy. mr. martin. mr. martin. mr. nicholson. present. mr. o dell. absent. mr. peeler. absent. mr. rankin. mr. reese. mr. sabb. mr. scott. present. mr. scott. ms. sessler. ms. shealy. absent. mr. shaheen.
mr. thurmond. mr. turner. mr. verdin. mr. williams. mr. young. mr. young is present. >> he is present. mr. coleman is present. mr. shaheen is present. mr. matthews is present. we got to keep going. >> a quorum is present. a quorum is present. we're on amendment number one. mr. clerk, finish reading the amendment. start again.
clerk, please read the commitment. clerk: a memo number one, a bill to relate whether these south carolina battle flag of the confederate states of america shall remain at its current location on the capitol complex. >> mr. president, members of the senate i understand this is a nonbinding referendum, but it would give the people chance to be heard because the statehouse grounds obviously belongs to the people of south carolina. i know we are emotionally charged over what happened in charleston, but i do not hold votes that believe in the ancestry of the south to be the ones that fought for one deranged individual in charleston. we are going to have some
serious debate on this. i am saving this for later. we're going to have this amendment, because i know probably where the votes are but i wanted to give an opportunity to allow the citizens of south carolina to be heard on this issue. >> the senator from darlington for what purpose do you rise? >> does the senator from spartanburg yield? chef but the senator yields. >> i appreciate you. i do not know if they understand exactly what you're amendment does. your amendment sets this on a referendum? senator bright: yes. yes. >> so, this matter is referred to the voters in the state of south carolina, for them to be voting on at the general election? senator bright: i am willing to take any friendly minute as to which election. i discussed with staff. i thought there had been other amendments but since i am the first one out of the box we
discussed the primary date, since that would be the soonest opportunity. i would think the earlier, the better. but if it has to wait until the next general election -- >> do you know how long the flag has been up? senator bright: yes, yes. since 1961 and that was the year of your birth. >> correct. senator bright: that has been up a long time. >> 53-plus years. and this discussion has been in suing during that time, right? senator bright: absolutely. the current governor was for leaving the flag up, and i understand what happened in trials and has got a lot of people's attention, but what i am more against taking it down in this environment than any other time just because i believe we are placing the blame of what one deranged lunatic did on people that hold their southern heritage high, and i don't think that's fair.
>> did you know from discussions that i believe you're amendment is germane? there was some discussion it was not. senator bright: yes. >> a concerns how you take it down. senator bright: absolutely. i appreciate that discussion. i am not here to talk on this amendment, but you are one of my closest friends in the senate. senator jackson is one of my friends in the senate. it is a situation where we agree on the issues and we disagree. we may disagree on what we want the result to be, but the esteem with which you hold the senate is something i admire and i know many members did because the processes what is important to you. >> i am going to be against your amendment, but i think you have a right to be heard, and i also share the fact that we are
elected by the same individuals that will be voting, even though we go to them at certain points in time for advice, that kind of thing, i think this is an issue where most people know where they are. so, even though i agree with the process and procedure, i think that we are here as spokespeople for those individuals, and that is the reason for our disconnect on this particular substantive matter. senator bright: thank you. and i understand where you're coming from on that front. >> senator -- >> yield for a question. >> it will be a short question. there will hopefully be no follow-ups on it. senator, i keep up with the world news as much as i can. the last several days, a week over in greece, they are going through a very critical financial -- senator bright: yes, yes. >> yesterday their people voted
in a referendum. they did not accept what the european union was proposing. they rejected that. today, the last thing i saw in the news, that country is an absolute chaos. you know i trust our people. they elect us. hopefully they are going to show good judgment when they do that and i believe they do, but our people are not in tune to the things we are talking about in this body as much as we are, and i tell you, when i saw what happened in grace, that country is probably going into bankruptcy. i do not know what will happen to that country. i'm just saying that to say, i am not against people voting. they elect us to come here and make these decisions for them and i think if we don't do that, we are derelict in our duties. thank you, sir. >> for what purpose do you rise? >> will be senator yield for
question? senator bright: let me briefly respond to the senator from florence's comments. i am a believer in the republic and the republican form of government where leaders are elected to make decisions, but this decision, i believe, is something that is little different. this is about what goes on the statehouse grounds. this is not a budget. it is not a regular statutory law. this is a decision on what the state house looks like. there is so much emotion around this chamber. obviously we have lost a colleague. we honor that colleague. we are never going to forget him. he's always going to be in our hearts. but i just can't see how the two correlate and saying the folks that wave that flag, that st. andrews cross, where saint
andrews did not want to be crucified like christ. he did not think he deserved it. and he was crucified at an angle and that is where that st. andrews cross comes from. it means a lot of things to different people, but i think the majority of south carolinians would like to see it up and i believe i am speaking for the majority of south carolinians. i would like to prove that with a vote. but i don't think that doing that makes us any less a republic, but i do think it makes us more susceptible to the views of the people. >> the senator ask a question? >> the senator yields. >> senator did you know when i first heard about your proposal to have a referendum, i had some concerns about that, understanding what the supreme court did a number of years ago regarding video poker, when they ruled that it was unconstitutional to place a
ballot question that would affect state law. the constitution of south carolina firmly says the power to make law is in the hands of the general assembly and not the people. i was concerned about it. did you know that? senator bright: i have heard that argument. this is a nonbinding referendum. >> senator, one of the first bills i introduced when i came here 15 years ago was to change our constitution to allow for petition initiatives and four referendum questions, as i do believe that the people from time to time should be able to weigh in on making law. senator bright: senator, i agree with that 100%. we love to talk about california, the left coast, and all the things they think out there and how liberal they are, but you know, there are things
that the supreme court and these federal courts have ignored absolutely ignored the will of the people. >> senator, understanding the limitations -- the constitution limits the government -- senator bright: it used to. the constitution used to limit the government. just but i was concerned about the referendum, and then i understood you would be asking for a nonbinding referendum, so i asked the attorney general for an opinion on binding and nonbinding referendum and it was passed out to the membership earlier, and did you know, to my surprise, the attorney general or the solicitor general speaks that even a nonbinding referendum would likely be struck down? senator bright: yes i believe the attorney general has taken many things i believe in on the side of the state of cal -- south carolina and has been ruled wrong.
in this instance, i believe he is wrong. the attorney general, that is one attorney's opinion. obviously elected by the entire state, but that is his opinion and does not carry the force of law and i have seen him issue opinions that have not been held up. i understand you have that opinion, but i think there are plenty who would deem it otherwise. we will have a vote and see. obviously if the majority does not support it, it will be a moot point. >> if the attorney general let's is no the binding and nonbinding referendum question would be unconstitutional, you still want to move forward with your amendment? senator bright: absolutely. i am asking that we allow the people to have a vote in this. i have seen a attorney general opinions that i agree with not agree with. i have seen them pass the muster of the court and fail the muster of the court. we cannot make a decision.
the attorney general opinion sometimes if they go with you, it is like the full force of law. if they go against you, it is just one attorney's opinion. obviously we get to cast votes in the body and this is an amendment i put up and i would like to get a roll call vote on it and we can go to the next amendment. i am not planning to belong on this, but i do plan into getting into it a lot more once we get on the bill itself. >> for what purpose do you rise? >> [indiscernible] >> is the senator relinquishing the floor? senator bright: i will do it. >> the senator -- >> if you read the opinion of the full surgeon that senator berkley mentioned, the opinion -- this goes back to a supreme court' case back in 1979 where
the state supreme court struck down the advisory referendums that were being held in order to nominate, and that was being done routinely at the time and had been done for years. a court case was brought and the state supreme court ruled on that advisory referendum in that is the basis for the attorney general's determination or the solicitor general's determination that this ridiculous advisory referendum or -- this particular advisory referendum or any referendum that would bear on state law would be unconstitutional. and you know, my thought is, every member make your decision. when we talk about process wanting to be right, our system issues as it is. we can work to change that if
members would prefer that we have more of a petition initiative and i know there have been bills introduced in that regard to make us more likely western states that routinely do that, but we do not have that in south carolina. and until we do, we need to honor the process. we talk about the process. whether you agree with it or do not agree with it it is not one of those convenient things. when we take the oath, we take the oath to honor the constitution as we understand it to be until it is changed. and the constitution is pretty clear, based on the court precedent that we cannot delegate, even in an advisory capacity, the lawmaking authority the general assembly has been entrusted with. you know, it may be a popular thing to say why don't you put it to a vote? but the popular thing in this instance is not the correct constitutional way to do our state's business at this time. for that reason i would
respectfully move to table the amendment. yes, sir? >> will be senator yield for a question, the senator from lawrence? >> i would like to be heard on the amendment. >> proceed. mr. berg. >> thank you, mr. president, members of the senate. very brief. i appreciate the arguments offered by the chairman of the judiciary, the chairman of transportation. my sentiments naturally would be there. i have never favored government by plea the site -- we are in extraordinary session on an extraordinary issue in which many high and notable persons
have had an advisory influence on this body. now to deference and respect an agreement to the pro tem, the senator from florence, i agree. it is a high task and high calling to stand and be representative of your constituency. what i offer is that outside of the most tragic and grievous of circumstances, we would not hear -- not be here, were it not for the unusual and highly, i high and heavy volume of advisory opinions and advice that we have received, from the highest officials of the lands and public service, governmental officials, federal, state, local
, to be most revered members of the business community, of the church, clerics, chambers of commerce, university presidents. we have heard publicly from a lot of high-minded and highly motivated, not necessarily our constituents. in that vein, i'm going to support this amendment, and i admit it would not be my cause or my method under usual circumstances. i think we can shoulder the responsibility of this debate
but i do not know that we have -- without outside influences, but i do not know that we have or if that is realistic at this point. my mind and my position is we are not in an abdication role here. we are in an inclusive role. we have heard from many, but we have not heard from all. and the arguments have extended exacerbation of this issue and the problems that may or may not arise from this discussion, i hope it is a healthy discussion and i hope that -- and i know that we have in this body -- strong comfort and inspiration -- strong comfort and inspiration and guidance from the conversation that has taken place in the last 17 days. i don't know if i have my day count right. i think for all of us, it has been a continuing cycle of imploring god for his help.
i hope it has been a continuing exile -- exercise 12 listening in years, within the body and outside the body. i'm going to cast a ballot on this amendment for this referendum. and pray that the spirit that has carried forth within this body will carry forth outside this body among our families friends, and neighbors in south carolina and i hope for the next day or two or however long we are here, that we will continue that spirit and show to the state and the world how to conduct our business and how to relate one to another. for my part, i think we would do well to listen, not only to boardrooms, but also to hearth
and home. of each and every one of our citizens that is so inclined to advise us in advisory referendum. thank you, mr. president. >> the motion is to table the amendment. roll call is requested by -- roll call is ordered. the clerk will please read the bill. we are getting ready to vote. >> leave for senator corbin until august 3. >> without objection. ring the bell and call the roll. [roll call vote]
the vote is 6-3. the amendment is tabled. >> a request to grant leave to senator gregory for the rest of the week. >> without objection, so ordered. the clerk will read the bill. >> [indiscernible] >> for what purpose do you rise sir? >> i would like to be heard on the amendment. mr.verdin. senator verdin: thank you, mr. president. >> you are welcome. senator verdin: i was surprised that the senator from darlington
was the only one running to the front to get a copy. members, i want to thank you for the opportunity to stand before you. you never know how a debate is going to play out. there have been debates i have missed while serving in the body . there were debates in the past that i missed for not having the opportunity to serve in the body. one of those debates was the debate in 2000 for the flag to be relocated to the soldiers monument in front of the statehouse. and as i said just a few moments ago, the grievous and tragic circumstances that have precipitated this debate crush our souls.
and you never know what your call to service might entail day-to-day, week by week. but i truly believe that we all have been prepared and have been preparing for this occasion. in recent months, i have had the opportunity to visit at the graveside of many confederate soldiers, many south carolinians. some that were casualties of the war between the states, some that died in battle in distant lands, some that died of disease in hospitals in distant states some who died of disease before they saw their first battle. i visited the graves in church
cemeteries of soldiers that did not succumb to death during the war, but were deeply marked by it. just having passed through confederate memorial day observances back in the spring it is still my custom, though somewhat removed due to the obligations and duties within the senate family and business it remains my custom to attend as many confederate memorial day observances as time will allow as the schedule will accommodate. i am thankful to say that as i gather with fellow carolinians across the state to visit a
memorial or monument, i do not know if anyone goes there to commune. we go there to remember. and when i say commune, commune with the spirit. outside communion and the presence and the direct and ointment by god and his holy spirit, i do not send -- direct anointment by god and his holy spirit, i do not sense communion with my ancestors to the degree that they speak to me historically they were committed to truth honor, integrity. that speaks to me. i, a falling creature, represented in the fall of adam, depraved sin-sick, sore -- to
that degree, they speak to me. nonetheless it always encourages my heart when i do find truth veracity faithfulness, duty, honor, diligence. 15 of you in the chamber now preceded 39 of us. at the time in 2000 that the heritage act was adopted, that the african-american monument was placed or agreed upon, subsequently placed, i was not
in the least bit sympathetic to the 46 here, the 124 across the way. i did not have the ability -- let me say to be empathetic. i had not stood in their shoes. having stood 15 years in your shoes and with you, i hope i can honestly say that i am more than sympathetic. that i am truly empathetic, as you seek, as we seek to serve our state. the constituents. the families, the friends, the neighbors. perspectives change. you have seasons of life. we mature.
and by god's grace, i pray that has happened for me. i reminded senator campsen that he and i had a knockdown drag out over the plaza. he was serving in the house. i was not. i was advocating. at that time, for the flag from maintenance a top the dome. we would have discussions regarding sovereign instance, and i would counter that that position of sovereignty or authority atop the dome truly was memorial. i would argue, it is at half mast already flying beneath the
matter and the u.s. flags. i could not cast a vote, he could. i am thankful that the terms and the conditions and the points of agreement of the senator from charleston and the other 44 of you are deep and abiding and significant to me as carolinians. regardless of race. but even more meaningful and deep to me are the points of agreement and communion that we enjoy in our lord and savior jesus christ.
i have artie told my caucus brethren -- i have already told my caucus rather and that i will stay on that theme for as many days as i have left by his grace. some of you have been kind enough to remark i have lost a few pounds. i think we have all lost a few pounds. i think we have had a nine kids in our stomach. i think there have been meals missed. , but the spirit -- but the spirit we have enjoyed, i do not know if that is the right description in light of the the black draped desk of our dear departed friend. let me say the ministry we have enjoyed has been very pronounced on me. and i will go ahead and
acknowledge in his point of acknowledgment before i turned to the meat of my amendment, if you so desire, and i will bow with the knowledge meant -- acknowledgment, there are harsh words that have passed my lips. i have penned words that i am sure were more inspired in the flesh than in the spirit. some are 15 years old, summer 20, some are just 15 months. but as much as lies within me, i hope that whatever time i have left with you or on this earth is better directed.
in the previous month, i have had opportunity, as i say, to consider the final resting places immemorial fashion of confederate soldiers. in the preceding 24 hours, i have had my first opportunity to walk the streets of the holy city just last evening. i was blessed to attend the funeral, though i was in and out of town rather quickly, but last night i had the opportunity to stand in silent meditation and prayer over some very notable locations. i had my first opportunity to
stand where much ministry and much grace, where much exaltation of our lord is taking place there at mother emanuel. but i want to bring to your attention, another spot in the holy city, several blocks away. back across meetings on down to king on down to broad, south of broad, three or four blocks, maybe two or three, one block south, on the corner of price's alley and king street, one of the most significant things to take place in the history of this state, i truly believe,
transpired -- nearly, i believe 175 years ago. speaking of the conversion of john l. girardo, at that very warner, a man that is known to very few of us, and i wish i could remember who pointed me to him many years ago. john l. girardeau passed on the pastorate of the first presbyterian church. he passed on offers from the most esteemed divines of the
19th century to minister and pastor in europe. at the invitation of hamilton of scotland england, many others in this country, some of the finest pastorates were offered to john girardeau. john girardeau labored with a fervency of spirit and the zeal for all of carolinians, for all carolinians regardless of race or creed. this individual, regardless of the government at the time regardless of public sentiment
at the time, chose to drive public sentiment. he chose to evangelize the world . he chose to share love with all his neighbors. i will commend him to you for your own study if you so choose. suffice it to say prior to the outbreak of the war between the states johhn l. -- john l. girardeau was one of the most beloved pastoral figures in the church of the low country. he was presbyterian, but he evangelized as if he was
methodist. he was in beaufort district, he was in charleston. where was he? where was he? he was with free and slave. he was with free and slave. he was with human -- human planter and farmer. -- yeoman planter and farmer. despite the circumstances of society, he was ministering the things that transcended. i mention the historical context, because the historical context of this matter i don't believe, can be rightfully discounted. i know much of this debate has transpired with contemporary focus. as i come to my amendment