Should The New York Times Have Issued This Press Release?

Some reporters were surprised to see that The New York Times issued a press release yesterday that touted its business coverage and stated that the business section, “continues to break vital news.”
Needless to say, reporters who noticed the release didn’t think “New York Times Breaks News” was exactly news.
“Even in-house publicity departments have slow days,” remarked TheWrap’s Dylan Stableford. So why did the company issue the release? Reached for comment, Times SVP of corporate communications Bob Christie told PRNewser:

This press release reminds readers and advertisers that The New York Times is the most respected and authoritative news organization that provides insightful, thoughtful analysis and news about the most important stories of the day, reported by the most respected columnists and journalists on the business beat. Anyone who wants to be part of the global conversation about international, national and local issues of the moment must turn to The New York Times first.

As FishbowlNY notes, there was one small piece of news buried in the release: the Times is launching AppSmart, a column about mobile applications. Read the full release after the jump.

July 7, 2010, 4:00 p.m. EDT
New York Times Business Section Continues to Break Vital Corporate and Financial News; Must-Read for C-Suite Executives
NEW YORK, Jul 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The New York Times business section, Business Day, is rapidly establishing itself as one of the preeminent sources of business, corporate and financial news and information as evidenced by recent scoops and many coveted industry awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and Loeb Awards. Additionally, recent investments in the business section have translated into many must-read blogs and columns authored by many of the most important and highly regarded names in business journalism.
Under the direction of New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia, Business Day has broken many of the biggest stories affecting corporate America today, including the S.E.C.’s civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, the United-Continental merger and the New York attorney general’s investigation of eight banks accused of misleading information rating agencies.
“The New York Times business section resonates with readers from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street with insightful analysis from many of the most thought-provoking business columnists,” said Mr. Ingrassia. “Business Day reporters are unearthing some of the most important stories of the day.”
Since Mr. Ingrassia joined The Times in 2004, the Business desk has earned more than 60 awards, including four 2010 Gerald Loeb Awards, a 2010 Pulitzer, 13 awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) in 2010 and 11 SABEW awards in 2009.
At the recently announced Loeb Awards, Michael Moss and Andrew Martin won the Large Newspapers award for “Food Safety,” which exposed the flaws in ground beef inspection systems and the resulting dangers of E. coli. David Pogue won in Online Commentary and Blogging for a “Pogue’s Posts” entry in which he crusaded against mandatory cellphone voicemail instructions. Andrew Ross Sorkin won the Business Book category for “Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves.” The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Walt Bogdanich for his work as an assistant investigative editor at The Times.
Among the most recent additions to Business Day are AppSmart, a new personal tech column, and Prescriptions, The Times’s revamped health care industry blog.
AppSmart, written by Bob Tedeschi, will debut Thursday, July 8, in the paper’s Personal Tech pages and online, with a focus on the ever-expanding universe of downloadable apps for smartphones. Each week’s column will review a category of apps ranging from restaurant locators or word processors to surfing or bird watching. It will replace Mr. Tedeschi’s weekly PhoneSmart column.