Top NYT Reporter Explains Her Break From Twitter

Maggie Haberman is tired of the 'toxic' environment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 3:57 PM CDT
Top NYT Reporter Explains Her Break From Twitter
From left, Maggie Haberman, Kathleen Parker, Sabine Feldmann, Leslie Jane Seymour, Norah O'Donnell, Christina Bellantoni, and Chris Jansing at the MORE Magazine's Noisemaker Luncheon in 2012.   (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for MORE/AP Images)

The man she covers might be a regular on Twitter, but you'll no longer find New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman issuing tweets of her own. In an op-ed in the Times, the White House correspondent explains why she's taking a break from the platform for the foreseeable future. Haberman writes that Twitter remains useful in important ways—as a news aggregator, for instance—but she also thinks it has changed for the worse in other ways. "Twitter has stopped being a place where I could learn things I didn’t know, glean information that was free from errors about a breaking news story or engage in a discussion and be reasonably confident that people’s criticisms were in good faith," she writes. Worse, "the viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism are at all-time highs, with no end in sight."

Everything gets thrown out of context on Twitter, Haberman writes. It gets "shrunk down to the same size, making it harder to discern what is a big deal and what is not." She also takes note of how President Trump tries to make the journalists who cover him part of the story through his tweets, a habit that has made her and other reporters the target of "swarms of vicious Twitter attacks." The problem with that is that "most of us don't want to be part of the story." Haberman says she's not gone for good, noting that she's gained about 700,000 followers since Trump's election. "I mostly enjoyed being able to interact with readers and suspect I will again someday," she writes. "It just won’t be soon." Click to read the full column. (More Maggie Haberman stories.)

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