Hoyt Launches First 'NYT' Public Editor Column a Little Early

By: E&P Staff Clark Hoyt, who succeeds Daniel Okrent and Barney Calame as The New York Times' public editor, produced his debut column today a little earlier than planned.

"Public Editor No. 3 doesn?t officially open his window for business until next week," Hoyt explained. "But already an issue has popped up that is filled with themes I?m sure to revisit over the next two years of examining and commenting on the news judgment of The Times.

"A decision by editors not to play charges of a terrorism plot at Kennedy Airport on Page 1 last Sunday puzzled me and some readers ? and angered others. Among the questions raised: Was the paper properly skeptical of officialdom, in this case the Bush administration? Was it too skeptical, just because it was the Bush administration? Was a political agenda at work?

"With the e-mail still coming in, I couldn?t resist opening early. So consider this what they call a 'soft launch' in the restaurant trade."

Hoyt ultimately discovers that the editor in charge now feels the story should have run on the front page -- albeit near the bottom. The JFK plot, however, did turn out to be much less than met the eye.

The full column is at www.nytimes.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here