Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Sun Valley Diary: Where’s the New York Times’s Sun Valley Diary?

sorkin190Every year, media moguls gather at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference to listen to each other gab, parade around in casual wear and occasionally make deals.

And for the last several years, the New York Times (NYT) has provided excellent on-the-ground coverage, usually via Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Not this year.

Reporters and media chieftains alike started arriving at the Idaho resort last night, but the Times is AWOL. If you want first-hand reportage on who said what outside the bar or by the duck pond, you’re going to have to rely on other news outlets.

Sorkin explained his absence via email to me:

For better or worse, I couldn’t make it out to Sun Valley this year because I’m chained to my desk for the next couple of weeks trying to finish my upcoming book, “Too Big to Fail.”

Given the market jitters–and resulting deal drought–we made the decision to cover the event from afar this year. I’m trying to stay up to date on the latest machinations out there by speaking with a half dozen of the invitees daily by phone and email–some of whom have already tapped out notes by Blackberry from inside this morning. (We actually might have a pretty interesting Sun Vally story up on DealBook in the next 24 hours.) We’re also running a series of Twitter feeds from other news organizations on DealBook’s homepage. And we plan to run several Sun Valley photo slide shows, as we’ve done in year’s past.

In truth, it’s debatable whether any news outlet has to be at Sun Valley: Some of the moguls use the opportunity to hold briefings with the press there. Google’s Eric Schmidt (GOOG) has been particularly talkative in years past. But anything truly important generally happens away from the scribes and usually comes to light well after the fact, so you could argue that real-time coverage is overrated.

On the other hand, last year Rupert Murdoch, who owns this Web site, enlisted the help of the press corps to help him find his wedding ring after an evening at the bar. That was a pretty great story.

And in any case, there are still plenty of other outlets on the ground. Among them: The Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, CNBC, the New York Post, and our colleague Julia Angwin from The Wall Street Journal.

A quick perusal of Google News will keep you up to date, and if you want second-by-second stuff, there’s a Twitter stream, of course. And sure enough, Sorkin’s Dealbook has a nifty widget that lets you toggle between different Twitter feeds. It’s worth checking out.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald