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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Corbett’

New York Times’ Social Media Policy: Use Common Sense, Idiot

While many big media companies have a slew of social media guidelines for its staffers, The New York Times doesn’t. According to Phil Corbett, the Times’ associate managing editor for standards, that’s because they just feel like it isn’t needed.

Corbett told Poynter that strapping staffers down with a lot of rules is counterproductive. He then added some obvious points:

They need to realize that social media is basically a public activity, it’s not a private activity, and that people will know that they work for the Times, that they are Times journalists, and will identify them with the Times. And so they should just keep that in mind and be careful not to do anything on social media that would undercut their credibility.

In other words, use common sense and don’t be an idiot. Seems pretty straightforward to us.

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The Ethics of Reporting on Rep. Weiner’s Wife’s Pregnancy

For those of you have been following every sordid detail about the Anthony Weiner scandal, one major piece might have caught you off guard: how quickly mainstream media outlets like the New York Times reported that Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin was three months pregnant, based on the word of several sources. It’s a huge story, but normally details like that are left to the tabloid trade. Politico’s On Media takes a look at the difficult decision news outlets faced in reporting this story.

The news that Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant had been known and agonized over in newsrooms, including this one, for more than 24 hours before it was reported on Wednesday night… For the New York Times, which broke the story, the decision was not a quick one. The paper published the story a little after 5 p.m. Wednesday night on its City Room blog after Gawker published an item saying it had heard that Abedin was pregnant.

Phil Corbett, the Times’s standards editor, emailed Politico: “We try to be sensitive to privacy concerns, and we weighed that issue here, too. But Weiner’s problems were obviously a big story, and his actions and words had clearly put himself, his private life and his marriage squarely into the news.”

He also made clear that the decision was the Times‘ own. “We don’t take our cues from Gawker on a story like this.”

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Editorial Changes At NYT: Corbett Named Standards Editor, Landman To Lead Culture

Jonathan Landman.jpgNew York Times executive editor Bill Keller has announced two new changes atop the editorial staff at the paper, starting with the announcement yesterday that Deputy News Editor Phil Corbett will be taking on the role of associate managing editor for standards next month after Craig Whitney retires.

“In that role, Phil will become the newsroom’s voice for all standards and ethics questions relating to content and news coverage, both in the printed newspaper and on the Web,” Keller said in a memo to staff. “This includes responsibility — along with Greg Brock — for dealing with corrections and editors’ notes, as well as questions from the Public Editor. He will also be the teller’s window for vetting conflict of interest and other policy rules outlined in the handbook on Ethical Journalism.”

Then today, Keller announced to the Times staff that Deputy Managing Editor Jonathan Landman (right) would be taking over the culture editor role vacated by Sam Sifton last month when he was picked to take up Frank Bruni‘s restaurant critic beat.

Keller called Landman’s selection a “no-brainer,” and noted that as he steps away from his role overseeing the Times‘s digital newsroom, the paper’s other leaders (including Keller himself) will have to focus more heavily on the Web:

“In proposing this change, Jon made a strong case that, in the next stage of integration, the support and promotion of this new kind of journalism must become more fully the responsibility of the newsroom’s top leadership — me, [managing editor Jill Abramson] and [managing editor John Geddes]. He reminded me that in the original proposal for an integrated newsroom — May, 2005 — I insisted that it is not enough to create new advocates for Web journalism within the NYT newsroom; the newsroom would be truly integrated only when the top editors took as much responsibility for our digital journalism as they do for the more traditional kind. We’ve stopped a little short of that ambition, in large part because we had Jon to defer to and depend on. We’ll have more to say on this important subject, but the main thing to say now is that Jill and I, in particular, see this as time to rearrange our priorities and devote more of our bandwidth to digital journalism.”

Said Landman in an announcement about his move today:

“It’s time for the newsroom to take the next step toward full integration, to put management of Web journalism and print in the same hands. That’s how we’ll be able to do the ambitious work we want to do.”

Read more of Keller’s memos about both Corbett and Landman here.

After the jump, the press release from the Times today announcing Landman’s appointment.

(Photo courtesy of The New York Times)

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