FAREWELL, OM­BUDS­MAN

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS -

The New York Times has elim­i­nated its much bal­ly­hooed Pub­lic Ed­i­tor po­si­tion, a des­ig­nated om­buds­man who had re­sponded to com­plaints about cov­er­age since 2003, when The Times faced some se­ri­ous cred­i­bil­ity is­sues. The last day for cur­rent Pub­lic Ed­i­tor El­iz­a­beth Spayd is Fri­day. And her re­place­ment?

“Our fol­low­ers on so­cial me­dia and our read­ers across the in­ter­net have come to­gether to col­lec­tively serve as a mod­ern watch­dog, more vig­i­lant and forceful than one per­son could ever be. Our re­spon­si­bil­ity is to em­power all of those watch­dogs, and to lis­ten to them, rather than to chan­nel their voice through a sin­gle of­fice,” ex­plained pub­lisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. in a memo to the staff.

“No, New York Times! Not the pub­lic ed­i­tor! Why, with trust in news or­ga­ni­za­tions at an all-time low, would you cut the one po­si­tion ded­i­cated to hold­ing your jour­nal­ists to ac­count in pub­lic?” asks Kelly McBride, a me­dia ethi­cist with the Poyn­ter In­sti­tute, a non­par­ti­san press re­search group.

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