‘NYT’ May Drop Public Editor Position

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By: E&P Staff

The New York Times may do away with its public editor position when the two-year term of Byron Calame — only the second person to hold the independent slot — concludes in May, according to a report in today’s New York Observer.

?Over the next couple of months,” Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote in an e-mail to the Observer’s Michael Calderone, “as Barney?s term enters the home stretch, I?ll be taking soundings from the staff, talking it over with the masthead, and consulting with Arthur? — Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.

Keller added that ?some of my colleagues believe the greater accessibility afforded by features like ?Talk to the Newsroom? has diminished the need for an autonomous ombudsman, or at least has opened the way for a somewhat different definition of the job.?

Calame told the Observer, ?I have been critical of the newsroom. I?ve also praised the newsroom, and I think that Bill Keller has been?quite obviously?unhappy with some of the things I?ve written….It seems to me that the high degree of independence that has been given to the public editor at The New York Times makes it a situation that inevitably causes criticism.”

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