NY Times public editor Byron Calame again punted on the many pressing issues that readers actually care about, and instead published a bland Q&A with standards editor Allan Siegal. Siegal was in charge of the Times team that investigated Jayson Blair and revealed the astonishing extent of his deceptions. (If you haven’t read Hard News, Seth Mnookin’s account of the Blair scandal and how it changed the Times, you should.)
This passage, however, raised an interesting question:
I’m supposed to be the recipient of any complaints and misgivings by the staff about how we’re doing and what we’re doing, the person who adjudicates differences of opinion about how we should go about reporting and editing stories.
By the charter that my job was given when it was set up, I have the guaranteed right to go not just to the executive editor with any misgivings I have, but directly to the publisher. On one occasion, when I thought that there was too much opinion seeping into the news pages, I went to both of them simultaneously. But that’s the only time I’ve felt it necessary to involve the publisher.
Just one occasion? Jeff Jarvis has the natural follow-up: Which occasion? This would be a perfect opportunity for Calame to utilize his “Web Journal,” if he hasn’t totally forgotten it exists. (via InterAdvocacy)
READER CONTEST: Which occasion do you think Siegal was talking about? While you’re sending in submissions, I’ll get on the phone with the Times and try to find out.