Can ChatGPT write better than The New York Times?

Robert Cornish
Founder & CEO
January 24, 2023

I was speaking to a colleague today and talking about how much I've enjoyed many of the New York Times emails I get.

I can't even recall how I ended up on their list but I did.

The one thing I often admire is their ability to write. I truly love and respect great writing. Done well, you can visualize what they're saying and perhaps even the kind of person writing it. Their personality comes through.

My colleague mentioned an idea, he said, "we should compare ChatGPT to the New York Times"

So I figured we would do exactly that.

One of these quoted sections is from ChatGPT and the other The New York Times. Can you tell which one is which?

"Before appointment viewing and must-see TV, before binge-watching and spoiler alerts, there were, in my early television memories, channels 3, 8 and 30. There were the helicopter propellers of “M*A*S*H” and the “Murder, She Wrote” typewriter, the “CHiPs” engines revving and Laverne and Shirley counting off: after-dinner cues that announced what we’d be watching that night.

I was reminiscing recently about those days, when you watched what was on, even if you didn’t particularly like it. When you tried to stay very quiet when Tattoo cried: “The plane! The plane!” hoping your parents would forget you were there — just us adults, watching our adult shows, too immersed in story to trifle with childish concerns like “bedtime."

When I want to revisit the comforts of pre-streaming TV, I turn, inevitably, to streaming channels, where I can call up every season of “The Golden Girls” or “Growing Pains” and fall into the predictable rhythms of the old episodes: conflict introduced before the first commercial break, conflict resolved before the closing credits."


"The 1980s was a decade of nostalgia and great television. From the heartwarming family dramas to the action-packed thrillers, the 80s had something for everyone.

One of the most iconic shows from the 80s was "The Cosby Show." The Huxtable family captured the hearts of millions with their relatable struggles and heartwarming moments.

Bill Cosby's portrayal of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable was nothing short of brilliant, and the show remains a classic to this day.

Another classic from the 80s was "The Golden Girls." This show about four older women living together in Miami was not only hilarious, but also tackled serious issues like aging and loneliness. The chemistry between the four lead actresses was undeniable, and the show continues to be a favorite among fans of all ages."

For me, the NYT article pulled me in immediately and felt like butter to read.

After having more time to see posts from ChatGPT, my thought is this; while technically accurate, it feels sterile. Lifeless. The above exercise started with the question, I wonder how ChatGPT would try to write a similar post to the NYT.

I do see strong use cases for ChatGPT but wonder if writing is really the problem that needs to be solved.

— Robert

About Robert Cornish: Robert Cornish founded Richter in early 2008 to build an agency focused on communication strategies that support sales growth for business-to-business technology-related companies. Bootstrapped with zero capital in the middle of the financial meltdown, Richter went on to make the Inc 5000 list comprised of the fastest-growing companies in America five times. Richter made the Silicon Valley Fast 50 four times and the Entrepreneur360 award two times. Robert has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Selling Power Magazine, Inc Magazine and IDEA magazine. He's been a guest speaker for ACG Los Angeles, IASA Summit, West Point and been interviewed for 33Voices, EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast and IDEA Magazine by Northwood University. In 2012 Wiley & Sons published his book, What Works, about the lessons he's learned while growing his agency from start-up navigating his way to a multi-million dollar agency. Robert currently owns five companies.

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NYT Writer Credit: Melissa Kirsch

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