The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) on Sunday, submitted a letter to The New York Times urging its leadership to reinstate a public editor. From 2003-2017, the news organization had a public editor, to be responsible for supervising the implementation of proper journalism ethics at that publication. These responsibilities include[d] identifying and examining critical errors or omissions and acting as a liaison to the public.
In 2017, the position was eliminated, and the NYT explained that the role was no longer necessary because the Times 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. The Times also created another avenue for feedback, making its articles open to public comment in their Reader Center.
The letter from the Media and Democracy Project reads in part: The intentional move by The New York Times to rely on social media for public feedback in 2017 has been a failure Turning the job of a public editor over to social media and the Reader Center has devolved into grievance, with shocking comments and trolling, often of no value to the public or the newspaper. A public editor's job is not only to provide constructive criticism and direct contact with journalists and editors, but also to open a window to the public as to how the newsroom functions.
MAD asserts that the Times needs a public editor to uphold proper journalism ethics, reinvigorate meaningful, responsive communications with subscribers, and importantly reset the news industry standard as a liaison with the public. The organization is encouraging others to contact the NYT to support the reinstatement of the position.
A copy of the letter is available here.
The Media and Democracy Project: MAD is a non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots organization focused on strengthening a free and independent media in the public interest. MAD aims to improve our national discourse so that American voters can engage in informed decision-making. As part of that goal, MAD has an interest in the responsibility of journalists and media to report fully, accurately, and fairly on the electoral process and the outcome of elections. Additional information is available at www.MediaAndDemocracyProject.Org.
View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/the-media-and-democracy-project-submits-letter-to-the-new-york-times-urging-reinstatement-of-public-editor-105422041
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