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N.Y. Times to Bring in Three New Editors (NYT gave faker journo Blair merit raise)
ASSOCIATED PRESS | July 30, 2003 | LARRY McSHANE

Posted on 07/30/2003 4:50:25 PM PDT by Liz

NEW YORK (AP) - After an 11-week internal investigation of the Jayson Blair scandal, The New York Times said Wednesday it will create the first ombudsman's position in its 152-year history and re-examine the newspaper's policies on datelines, bylines and anonymous sources.

The ombudsman, to be known at the Times as "public editor," will examine coverage, review reader complaints and write a periodic column in the newspaper, Executive Editor Bill Keller said Wednesday, his first day on the job.

In addition, the paper will create two masthead-level jobs for a "standards editor" and an editor to oversee hiring and career development.

The measures come in response to a 94-page report prepared by a committee convened after the Blair debacle. The report, which included a separate section on Blair, "closes a chapter" at the paper, said Allan M. Siegal, Times assistant managing editor and head of the 28-member committee.

"We think it's our final word," he said in an interview. Siegal's committee was assembled after it was revealed that the Times had published three dozen stories by Blair that were plagiarized, inaccurate or otherwise false.

The scandal exposed a discontented staff that had lost confidence in newsroom leadership. The fallout led to the resignations of Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd in June.

Keller announced Wednesday that he was adopting some of the Siegal committee's recommendations immediately, and is pursuing several others.

"The shock to our system - to its morale and reputation - has created an important opportunity. Most important, it has created a consensus for change," Keller said in a memo to the staff. All three new jobs should be "refined and filled within the coming weeks," he said.

In its report, the committee acknowledged that concerns over diversity may have helped Blair, who is black, advance at the Times, but emphasized that the paper should not turn away from its commitment to a diverse newsroom.

The report found that the "real culprits" in the Blair scandal were "deeply flawed structures, attitudes and processes." In particular, the committee cited a "failure to communicate" among editors and said that "in the New York Times newsroom, silos had replaced sharing."

Keller said the Times would also pursue committee recommendations that the newspaper standardize its policy on anonymous sources, create an annual performance review for its workers and impose more coherent byline policies and enforcement of dateline policies.

Blair based one account of the Washington-area sniper shootings on anonymous sources; his editors did not know their identities.

Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg resigned from the Times in May after relying extensively on the reporting of a stringer for a feature story on Florida oystermen. The story carried only his byline.

Keller acknowledged that the Times had traditionally opposed hiring an ombudsman over fears of internal "nit-picking and navel-gazing." But he agreed to try the position for a one-year term, then determine if it should be kept.

Nationwide, 38 newspapers have editors that belong to the Organization of News Ombudsmen, said the group's executive secretary, Gina Lubrano.

"They're still a great newspaper," Lubrano said, "and I think this shows their willingness to listen to readers."

The standards editor will help staff "on matters of accuracy and ethics," Keller said.

One portion of the report - prepared by three outside journalists - dealt only with Blair, detailing six "choke points" in his Times career - "moments when the looming disaster could have been cut short," according to the report.

"These signs, so clear in hindsight, were not seen or heeded," it said.

The points ranged from the failure to discover Blair had no college degree to his promotion as part of the Times' coverage of the Washington sniper case.

"This was an invitation to disaster," the report said of the promotion. "The invitation was accepted."

During the time he was fabricating stories from October 2002 through April 2003, Blair was actually given a merit raise, the report found. Blair, 27, resigned from the paper May 1.

"Behind the Blair story lay a misguided pattern of tough supervision and lenient forgiveness that led to retaining him, and in fact promoting him, when at several points he was demonstrating that he was not ready to join the staff of The New York Times," the report said.

The three outside analysts who joined Times staffers on the committee 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.

---

On the Net: www.nycto.com


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: billkeller; falsification; howellraines; jaysonblair; mediafraud; medialies; newyorktimes; nyt; ombudsman; plagiarism; rickbragg; schadenfreude; siegalcommittee; thenewyorktimes

1 posted on 07/30/2003 4:50:25 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz
Here's a pic of the new guy:


2 posted on 07/30/2003 4:52:30 PM PDT by KantianBurke (The Federal govt should be protecting us from terrorists, not handing out goodies)
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To: Liz
Why do I suspect that the "public editor" will be among the most doctrinaire leftist ideologues at the Times?
3 posted on 07/30/2003 4:57:48 PM PDT by The Hon. Galahad Threepwood
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To: Ff--150; Brian S; shaggy eel; VaFederalist; Donna Lee Nardo; LiteKeeper; agrace; ErinsDaddy; ...
"Behind the Blair story lay a misguided pattern of tough supervision and lenient forgiveness that led to retaining him, and in fact promoting him, when at several points he was demonstrating that he was not ready to join the staff of The New York Times," the report said.

Balderdash. Liberals can't think themselves out of a paper bag when they are on a PC high.
PC'ness is like a drug to them, the way self-loathing liberals can feel good about themselves.

NYT liberals were so full of "tolerance and compassion" watching Blair trod the halls
of the pure-white Times, that they couldn't recognize wrongdoing when it hit 'em in the face.

4 posted on 07/30/2003 5:01:37 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz
Well, bringing in three new guys is a good start. But, and I only speak for myself here, and not for all of America, there better to be extreme consideration given to some diversity candidates. The NYT can only be improved by having more black folks on the payroll.

Here is a good opportunity to get input from Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte and some of the other great black thinkers of the age. We don't need more aging white lefties. If the NYT is ever to catch up to the National Enquirer, it must improve its diversity statistics!

5 posted on 07/30/2003 5:02:01 PM PDT by Tacis
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To: Liz
From the article: ~ "The ombudsman, ...will examine coverage, review reader complaints and write a periodic column in the newspaper..."

The New York Times is JUST NOW hiring an ombudsman?!

What unbelievable hubris we have had to endure all these years.

6 posted on 07/30/2003 5:02:20 PM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: KantianBurke
He resembles ex-ed Howell Raines a bit, doesn't he?
7 posted on 07/30/2003 5:02:53 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Tacis
Here is a good opportunity to get input from Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte and some of the other great black thinkers of the age.......If the NYT is ever to catch up to the National Enquirer, it must improve its diversity statistics!

LOL. And how 'bout Maxine, and Kweisi? And da Rev Jessuh?
Man, they'll have the NYT running up to snuff in no time. LOL.

8 posted on 07/30/2003 5:05:35 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz
The report found that the "real culprits" in the Blair scandal were "deeply flawed structures, attitudes and processes." In particular, the committee cited a "failure to communicate" among editors and said that "in the New York Times newsroom, silos had replaced sharing."

For professional wordsmiths, these people really do say some stupid sh*t.

9 posted on 07/30/2003 5:16:50 PM PDT by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: Liz
The NYT Jayson Blair WatchIt Project Team 8-?


10 posted on 07/30/2003 5:18:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...&&&&&&&&&...SuPPort FRee Republic.....www.DRAFTTOM.com..... NEVER FORGET)
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To: Right_in_Virginia
The NYT has lots its compass, and it's over for them. Hiring a low level staff guy to police the operation won't do the trick. If they don't have their own moral compass, which they don't, this won't help. The paper will never regain its reputation.
11 posted on 07/30/2003 5:26:05 PM PDT by JoeFromCA
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To: Liz
In particular, the committee cited a "failure to communicate". . .

Some men you just can't reach. . .what we've got here is failure to communicate.

12 posted on 07/30/2003 5:37:47 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: JoeFromCA
Unless the junior Sulzberger decides to back off, it's definitely over for them.
13 posted on 07/30/2003 5:43:15 PM PDT by livius
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To: martin_fierro
That's what they said for public consumption. I can only imagine what Pinch's father said in the privacy of their home after finding out his lame-brained scion (with the diluted DNA) had royally screwed-up on his precious NYT.
14 posted on 07/30/2003 6:04:28 PM PDT by Liz
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To: NormsRevenge
The "new team" even dressed for the occassion. LOL.
15 posted on 07/30/2003 6:05:42 PM PDT by Liz
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To: The Hon. Galahad Threepwood
He'll be so far left they'll have to put his office in the Pacific Ocean.
16 posted on 07/30/2003 6:08:39 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz
This could be an opportunity for conservatives in America. When the NYTimes finally announces the name of the "Public Editor" all FReepers sould make note of his/her e-mail address and flood this person with complaints regarding Left-wing media bias every time it is found there.

Either the complaints will be ignored (in which case this forum can be used to expose the Leftist bias of the Times), or the complaints will be acted upon (finally!!).

Either way, we win--but only if we act.
17 posted on 07/30/2003 6:21:24 PM PDT by the lone wolf (Good Luck, and watch out for stobor.)
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To: Liz
You can't shine ###t
18 posted on 07/30/2003 6:28:40 PM PDT by RocketWolf
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To: RocketWolf
Words of wisdom.......
19 posted on 07/30/2003 7:15:36 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz; Howlin
...re-examine the newspaper's policies on datelines, bylines and anonymous sources.

I think I heard Fox News announce that Bob Hope's NYT obit was written by someone who has been deceased for two years now. Pretty much cutting edge reporting...

20 posted on 07/30/2003 8:51:02 PM PDT by Libloather (Proud member of the Vast Right Wing Fatwa...)
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To: Libloather
Would make sense. Papers write obits ahead of time so they are ready to plug in when famous people die. They write them for people they assume will kick the bucket soon. For instance, I bet every newspaper in America already has obits written on President Reagan, the Pope, etc. So the fact that the obit was written by someone two years ago doesn't mean much, since Bob Hope hasn't done much in the last two years.
21 posted on 07/30/2003 8:58:34 PM PDT by laurav
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


22 posted on 07/30/2003 10:03:34 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Liz
Thanks for the ping...
23 posted on 07/30/2003 10:26:50 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: Liz
Nail was hit on head.
24 posted on 07/31/2003 4:21:15 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (!!!!!!! sdrawkcab si enilgat ym ,em pleh esaelP)
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To: martin_fierro; the lone wolf
Agreed.
25 posted on 07/31/2003 5:16:09 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: PGalt
BTTT
26 posted on 08/06/2003 11:18:17 PM PDT by mrustow (no tag)
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