New York Times -- expanding all the news that's fit to print


OK, its an easy shot to criticize the New York Times, but often they deserve it.  As a newspaper read by many of the nation's most influential the paper exerts a power far beyond its numbers and so deserves extra scrutiny. 
But let's give some credit where due. The paper does realize news media in general have lost credibility; the New York Times more so.   

In order to build readers' confidence, an internal committee at The New York Times has recommended taking a variety of steps, including having senior editors write more regularly about the workings of the paper, tracking errors in a systematic way and responding more assertively to the paper's critics.
Also realizing the Times' extremely narrow focus needs some broadening
The committee also recommended that the paper "increase our coverage of religion in America" and "cover the country in a fuller way," with more reporting from rural areas and of a broader array of cultural and lifestyle issues. The report is available here.
Wow!  Realization that there is much more to the country than the blue bicoastal strips with their different "cultural and lifestyle issues."  That should be a true revelation to New Yorkers, many of whom seriously believe they live in the center of all known civilization.
Other recommendations:

1. Encourage the executive editor and the two managing editors to share responsibility for writing a regular column that deals with matters concerning the newspaper.

2. Make reporters and editors more easily available through e—mail.

3. Use the Web to provide readers with complete documents used in stories as well as transcripts of interviews.

4. Consider creating a Times blog that promotes interaction with readers.

5. Further curtail the use of anonymous sources.

6. Encourage reporters to confirm the accuracy of articles with sources before publication and to solicit feedback from sources after publication.

7. Set up an error—tracking system to detect patterns and trends.

8. Encourage the development of software to detect plagiarism when accusations arise.

9. Increase coverage of middle America, rural areas and religion.

10. Establish a system for evaluating public attacks on The Times's work and determining whether and how to respond.

Full Text of the Report (

Actually, most of these proposals are applicable to  media of all types——especially those  involved with accuracy——while general media should understand the real diversity of the country.  Now to see if these ideas are fulfilled.

We'll be watching.

Ethel C. Fenig  5 09 05