Testy Copy Editors

This and that
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Author:  J Kaufman [ Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  This and that

The ombud at the Times wants to know why editors and reporters cannot be, like the ombud, infallible every day.

The cast included Margaret Sullivan, the former Buffalo News editor who has reinvented the job for the digital age as The New York Times' public editor since last September; Mike Getler, PBS' ombudsman since 2005 and a longtime Washington Post journalist who did a stellar job during his five years as that newspaper's ombudsman; Hoyt, a veteran journalist and news executive who set the standard as the Times' third public editor; and promising rookie Robert Lipsyte, 75, a legendary former New York Times columnist who on Wednesday was celebrating his 26th day as ESPN's ombudsman.

So what do news organizations do that bothers, irritates and upsets people? Sullivan says one thing that really gets to them is the on-the-one-hand, on-the-other hand article that leaves the reader hopelessly confused.

"False balance is a real bugaboo," she said. "They want the paper to state the established truth when they can."

Other issues include accuracy -- "they want to hold the paper's feet to the fire," fairness and using anonymous sources unfairly. They also are apt to ask both why the paper didn't cover something and why it's covering something so much.
[USA Today]

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