It used to be that you could count on the New York Times to separate clearly news stories from analysis or commentary, but the newspaper now regularly blurs the distinction. Let me give an example from today's paper, in a front right story entitled (in the paper edition), "Median Incomes Shrank Further After Recession".
By the way, that I might agree with the opinions put forth is not the point. The point is that a news story is supposed to be news, not opinion. Let the readers draw their own conclusions.
Here's the lede:
In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.
The use of the term "grim" is problematic, as it is the writer's characterization. The sentence would have be accurate and properly sparse without it. But that is minor compared to this conclusion, two paragraphs further along:
The finding helps explain why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing. Unhappiness and anger have come to dominate the political scene, including the early stages of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Where does this come from? There is no evidence presented in the story that there is a connection between the two. Maybe, for example, people's attitudes towards their political leaders result from those leaders behaving like incompetent boobs (my opinion). But there is not even support included in the story for the proposition that these are "Americans’ attitudes" or that they have "continued to sour," i.e., grown in scale. Again, I am not saying the conclusion is wrong: I am saying that, in a news story, the reporter is supposed to provide factual support for the statements.
The rest of the story, after the page turn, is an excellent summary of economic research on the income issue, by this reporter who presents this kind of material well.
In previous decades, the Times would have separated the news story -- "median incomes shrank" -- from an accompanying news analysis story -- "grim figures explain public malaise." By combining the two aspects into one story, the newspaper falls into the entertainment trap of certain television networks. Maybe that is its intent.