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Home Publications Blogs CEPR Blog Miracle of Miracles: Good Reporting on Modern Family Structures in the NYT

Miracle of Miracles: Good Reporting on Modern Family Structures in the NYT

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 16:02

Over the last year or so, the NYT has repeatedly dropped the ball in news stories and commentaries that involve modern family structures, particularly when it comes to working-class families and ones headed by an unmarried parent(s).

 The low points include:

  • The spreading (by David Brooks, Jason DeParle, Paul Tough, and Nicholas Kristof) of what I’ve called the “disorganized single-mother” meme. 

So, I was relieved today to read some very good reporting in the NYT on modern American families by science columnist Natalie Angier and others. Instead of simple morality tales in binary structure (i.e., married, biological parents = good for kids; single/unmarried parents = bad for kids), we get stories about seven different modern America families. No Charles Murray, no obsession with the perceived deficits of single mothers, no citations to sketchy research or people working at the Manhattan Institute. Just solid reporting. Let’s hope some of the guys mentioned above are reading it. 

Tags: families | marriage | working class

Comments (2)Add Comment
Freakonomics fail
written by Zach Neal , November 26, 2013 5:28
I always thought Freakonomics question of whether abortion legalization led to reduced crime missed the more interesting question. Did it lead to economic gains? Were people who deferred children able to make economic decisions that helped them in the long term.
written by watermelonpunch, November 26, 2013 8:59
“marriage is one of the best forces to blunt poverty”

I hadn't heard that one before.

Yeah, marriage can blunt poverty alright.

Like being stabbed at all is tolerable?

Getting stabbed with a dull knife together is something best shared?

And any cook will tell you, dull knives in the kitchen are more dangerous than sharp ones.

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