Skip to comments.After Blair, Times Makes New Positions
Posted on 07/30/2003 10:54:36 AM PDT by kattracks
NEW YORK, Jul 30, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- The New York Times, acting on the recommendations of a committee assembled following the Jayson Blair scandal, said Wednesday it would create three new positions, including an ombudsman to examine coverage and review reader complaints.
Along with the ombudsman, to be known at the Times as "public editor," the newspaper will create two masthead-level jobs for a standards editor and an editor to oversee hiring and career development, new Executive Editor Bill Keller said in a staff memo.
All three jobs should be "refined and filled within the coming weeks," Keller said in a five-page note introducing the committee's report.
"What we are out to do is raise our accountability for the management of our people, and acknowledge that it is inseparable from the making of our journalism," Keller said.
The public editor will review reader complaints, assure they are addressed by editors, and recommend corrections, editors' notes or other measures, Keller said. That editor will also have the freedom to contribute "independent, uncensored commentaries" published in the paper, Keller said.
The position will have a one-year term, Keller said. At the end of the term, the newspaper will evaluate the position and decide whether it should continue or be adapted.
The standards editor will educate the staff "on matters of accuracy and ethics," he said.
The 28-member committee, headed by Times' Assistant Managing Editor Allan M. Siegal, had promised to "conduct a comprehensive review" of the paper's newsroom policies in the wake of the Blair case.
Three outside analysts joined Times staffers on the committee. They were former Associated Press President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi; Joann Byrd, outgoing Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial page editor; and Roger Wilkins, a former Times columnist and editorial board member.
The committee was appointed during a time of unprecedented turmoil at the 152-year-old newspaper. Blair resigned from the paper on May 1 after filing phony and plagiarized stories - three dozen in all, between October 2002 and April 2003.
The paper described the Blair affair as "a low point" in its history, eventually leading to the resignations of executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor Gerald Boyd.
By LARRY McSHANE Associated Press Writer
I doubt it.
...or allow "columnists" like Dowd to deliberately misquote the President? < /rhetoical question >