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Posts Tagged ‘Clark Hoyt’

Bloomberg News Review Prompts Standards Editor and Ombudsman Hire

After it was revealed that Bloomberg News staffers had used their terminals to spy on Goldman Sachs workersMatthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, said the “error was inexcusable” and promised swift changes. That process has now started.

In a review of Bloomberg News’ operations, Clark Hoyt — the former New York Times public editor — suggested the company hire a standards editor and an ombudsman. Bloomberg News is complying with Hoyt’s recommendations. In a letter, Bloomberg’s president, Dan Doctoroffexplained:

We will appoint an Independent Senior Editor to serve as an independent avenue of appeal for issues and complaints around news coverage. This new position will assist in the ongoing development of best ethics practices and training on them. This individual will report to Bloomberg’s Chief Content Officer within the Office of the Chief Executive rather than the news organization.

We will establish a newsroom Standards Editor with the responsibility for making sure that News consistently adheres to The Bloomberg Way’s high standards for accuracy, rigor in reporting, balance and tone.

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New York Times Discovers Watts Towers, Still Struggles With Acronyms

In an otherwise decent enough piece by Adam Nagourney in yesterday’s New York Times about the uncertain fate of the Watts Towers, we couldn’t help notice a few things. Both the reference in the hed to the Towers as “hidden” and notion in the body of the piece that Europeans and global sophisticates flock to the towers while Angelenos are too dumb to notice, struck us as a bit odd. We haven’t met a single Angeleno who doesn’t know about the Watts Towers, or who learned about them from some effete Frenchie.

But the main thing we found bizzare is the Times’ continued reference to the LA County Museum of Arts as “Lacma,” instead of “LACMA.” Lord knows we here at Fishbowl LA are no copy editors. But it’s been bothering the crap out of us.

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NBC Might Not Be On Top Of The Olympics…But The New York Times Is


While the debate rages on to why NBC is refusing to air any of its Winter Olympic coverage in real time, The New York Times wants you to know that they at least are. Writes Clark Hoyt yesterday:

The Times has no intention of changing its approach: report results as soon as it can, as prominently as they deserve. “Our job is to report the news,” said Tom Jolly, the sports editor. He said NBC “has made a business decision to show the highlights on a taped basis. We’re not beholden to presenting the news the way NBC does.”

Now, this has already caused some issues with readers who are used to having their television coverage with *spoiler alert* warnings, in case they haven’t had the chance to watch the show themselves yet. Too bad: this is the Olympics, not an episode of Lost. You wouldn’t ask the papers to not announce the Superbowl scores on the front page of their site just because you had to DVR the game. And NBC, by only showing the highlight reel after the games are over, might think they are appealing to the ADD generation that just wants a “best of” montage, and not to watch the whole boring game, but as Dan Gillmor of Mediactive wrote today, “Any news organization holding back on news because entertainment consumers want to live in their fantasy worlds deserves utter contempt.” We agree completely (just no spoilers about what happens to Anderson Cooper in Haiti, okay?)

Read More: The Olympics? Don’t Tell Me.– The New York Times,There are No ‘Spoilers’ in News– MediaActive

New York Times Won’t Address Paterson Rumors


In the Sunday edition of The New York Times, Clark Hoyt fumed about the nature of salacious rumor-mongering about the alleged sex scandal his paper was assumed to be writing about New York Governor David Paterson. From John Koblin at The New York Observer to the front-page of The New York Post, the story so saturated in this month’s news cycle that Paterson himself had to address the issue in a conference. Now the Times is taking an official stance on the subject: “No comment.”

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Ombudsman Organization Launches New Site


The Organization of News Ombudsman has launched a newly redesigned Web site,, which promises to be “hub” for the international organization and “a guidepost for news consumers to make sense of both old and new media.”

Explained the org in a statement today:

“As media are changing, so is the role of the ombudsmen (also known as public editors) and the new Web site promises to be an important source for clarity and neutrality. By compiling media criticism and encouraging public interaction, is a necessary companion for navigating the news.”

Before bloggers and citizen journalists took on the mantle of mainstream media watchdogs, ombudsmen were the ones who kept their publications and journalists in check. Can this new site catch on as a place for Web readers to check in on MSM watchdogs?

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Related: NYT Public Editor Tackles Decision To Keep Rohde Kidnapping Quiet

Magazines Won’t Drive Brands|Times Public Editor Checks In On Game Change|Nate Berkus|Success Of Elle, Food Network Mag|Don’t Work For Free!

BayNewser: Dwell publisher Michela O’Connor Abrams told a media conference last week that in the future, magazines will still be around, “but most of them will be these beautiful pieces that are the calling cards of brands, not the drivers of those brands.”

New York Times: Public editor Clark Hoyt discusses book of the moment Game Change and examines how the Times covered the book (with a review and some articles about related matters, like Sen. Harry Reid‘s apology for his quotes in the book) and whether or not the account in the book about Times columnist Maureen Dowd fact checking her column with David Geffen is accurate.

Hollywood Reporter: Oprah Winfrey sidekick Nate Berkus is set to headline his own lifestyle show this fall.

minOnline: Why are Elle and Food Network Magazine so successful?

Reflections of a Newsosaur: Journalists: stop giving away your work for free!

NYT Defends Blurry Ethical Territory, Takes Swipe At Bloggers

111new_york_times_building.jpgThe New York Times has had a hell of a time in the last six months trying to determine just exactly how much freedom to allot to their freelance (or non-staff) writers. And the latest public editor column makes it clear that the newspaper is not interested in bending its rigid ethics rules for anyone.

A few months ago, there was a controversy surrounding Mike Albo, a Times freelancer who went on a Thrillist junket to Jamaica and, even though he didn’t write about it for the Times, was fired for accepting the free trip. Then there was Mary Tripsas who had her flight (and room and board) paid for by 3M as she checked out the company’s innovation center. She later wrote about it in her New York Times column “Prototype” and gave it glowing reviews. She has been asked to leave the Times.

And apparently there is a third, more recent case of Joshua Robinson, who sought free trips from airlines pitched stories to airline magazines in exchange for airline tickets, while describing himself as a Times reporter even though he wasn’t working on a project for the paper. (Editor’s Note: To be fair, what freelancer wouldn’t boast about those Times clips on his resume?)

So why, Times public editor Clark Hoyt asked, should these writers be punished? Why should freelancers be held to the same ethical standards as the people who get health insurance, benefits and secure employment? After all, is it worth writing for a prestigious institution if there are no perks to be had?

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Times‘ Keller: Within Weeks Of Decision On Pay Wall

nyt logo.jpgOne surprising reaction to The New York Timesrecent announcement that it plans to cut 100 newsroom staffers through buyouts and, if necessary, layoffs is some readers’ willingness to pay for the paper’s content online in order to save jobs and maintain its quality.

Over the weekend, the Times‘ public editor Clark Hoyt discussed the paper’s staff cutting plans, seeking answers from executive editor Bill Keller. Acknowledging that some have offered a pay wall as a possible solution to the layoff plans, Keller said, “It’s a much tougher, more complicated decision than it seems to all the armchair experts. There is no clear consensus on the right way to go.”

Explained Hoyt:

“At stake are millions of dollars from online advertisers who want the largest possible number of readers. Putting up any kind of pay wall has the potential to drive away readers and some of those dollars.”

Still, Keller revealed a decision on how the paper will proceed with a pay wall is a few weeks away. Unfortunately, it looks like 100 people will be losing their jobs before a pay model can be unveiled. The realities of the media today is that any income that will come from a paid online content won’t be able to save jobs — at least right away.

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The Things We (Almost) Missed This Week

Before we head into the weekend, here’s a look at some big media stories we (almost) missed this week. Better late than never, right?

Times Public Editor Takes On Stanley: New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt tried to explain how an “especially embarrassing” number of corrections appeared in Alessandra Stanley‘s appraisal of Walter Cronkite‘s career. Although Hoyt called Stanley “a prolific writer much admired by editors for the intellectual heft of her coverage of television,” she has a history of making mistakes. As Hoyt explained:

“For all her skills as a critic, Stanley was the cause of so many corrections in 2005 that she was assigned a single copy editor responsible for checking her facts. Her error rate dropped precipitously and stayed down after the editor was promoted and the arrangement was discontinued. Until the Cronkite errors, she was not even in the top 20 among reporters and editors most responsible for corrections this year. Now, she has jumped to No. 4 and will again get special editing attention.”

We reached out to Hoyt and a Times rep to see if we could find out who the three reporters and editors with the most errors are, but we haven’t received any response. For now, it looks like Stanley’s job is safe, but who knows what will happen once the paper appoints a new culture editor, now that current editor Sam Sifton has been named restaurant critic.

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NYT Public Editor Tackles Decision To Keep Rohde Kidnapping Quiet

times.pngYesterday, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt discussed Times reporter David Rohde‘s kidnapping and the lengths the paper’s staff took to keep the story out of the media.

Rohde has been mum about his ordeal, but Tahir Ludin, an Afghan journalist captured with Rohde and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, gave his story to the Times last month. Hoyt dug up some other facts about the kidnapping and the cover up, and he didn’t agree with them all.

First, Hoyt said Rohde’s kidnappers had requested silence. “Possibly by defying them, we would be signing David’s death warrant,” Times executive editor Bill Keller told him.

What’s more, although we had already learned that Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales had helped to keep news of the kidnapping off Rohde’s Wiki page, Hoyt said Times reporter Michael Moss and spokeswomen Catherine Mathis “persuaded a group of New England newspapers to remove Rohde’s wedding notice and photos from their Web site so the kidnappers would not have personal information they could use to pressure him psychologically,” — a move Hoyt found “troubling.”

However, Hoyt generally seems to agree with the choices made by Keller and the others, admitting that the situation and others like it puts editors is “excruciating positions.”

“Had I been in Keller’s shoes, I would have done what he did for Rohde and his companions,” Hoyt concluded. “Even though Keller acknowledged, ‘I’ll never know for sure whether our silence had any impact whatsoever on David’s fate.”