Black Bars Fill the Screen in The New York Times' Latest 'Truth Is Hard' Ad

Latest Spot Highlights Need for Transparency and Features V.O. of Editor Mark Mazzetti

By Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Apr 28, 2017

Editor's Pick

The New York Times' continuing "The Truth Is Hard" campaign from Droga5 focuses on information, or lack thereof, that journalists must overcome in order to dig out the news. A new ad juxtaposes the voiceover of the NYTimes' Washington Investigations Editor Mark Mazzetti, who speaks about the need for journalists to deman accountability and transparence from the government, with scores of legal documents or government papers filled with the blacked out, redacted bars of text.

The idea is meant to highlight Times' staffers relentless digging for information. According to a statement from the paper, since 2001 -- through multiple administrations, the Times has filed several dozen Freedom of Information Act lawsuits -- more than any other news outlet. Such efforts have helped to shed light on the U.S. government's secret surveillance activities, trade with sanctioned countries, the drone strike program and more.

In speaking about the theme of this ad campaign, "No other media organization has done more than The New York Times to fight for the public's right to information about their federal, state and local governments," said New York Times Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. in a statement. "From the Pentagon Papers to the N.S.A.'s Warrantless Wiretapping and more, our legacy of holding government to account makes us proud."

Previously, the campaign highlighted the work of photojournalists Tyler Hicks in Greece and Bryan Denton in Iraq and launched with a bold, typographical spot during the Oscars.

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Apr 28, 2017
Droga5 New York
The New York Times

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