New York Times Expands Standards Department, Which Will Now Oversee News and Opinion
Added 01-22-20 05:34:02pm EST - “The New York Times is substantially expanding its standards department, according to a newsroom memo composed by executive editor Dean Baquet, managing editor Joe Kahn and editorial page editor James” - Mediaite.com
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The New York Times is substantially expanding its standards department, according to a newsroom memo composed by executive editor Dean Baquet, managing editor Joe Kahn and editorial page editor James Bennett.
As part of the expansion, the department will absorb the paper’s “reader center,” its portal for addressing reader concerns established in 2017 when the Times made the somewhat controversial decision to eliminate its public editor position — a move that drew criticism from those who believed that the paper was shying away from a sense of accountability.
The standards operation will now be a little more outward-facing, including responding to reader comments and working with Times journalists to elucidate their reporting for readers, among other things. “This investment will take a standards operation that is already one of the largest in journalism and roughly triple its size,” the memo said.
Phil Corbett, the paper’s standards editor since 2009, will oversee the department, the purview of which historically has included ethical concerns, style questions and post-publication issues.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the expansion is that Corbett will now also oversee the opinion department as well as the newsroom. He will work to maintain standards around “accuracy, fairness and integrity” in both departments, per the memo. Traditionally, those departments have been strictly siloed off, as they are at most newspapers, though the memo said that this change would help the Times maintain a “strict separation between our news and opinion journalism.”
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