Does A.G. Sulzberger Even Understand What a Public Editor Is?

“Why hadn’t I heard about what the Reader Center had been up to?”

Longreads

Last year The New York Times announced it was ending the public editor — a role created to help readers get accountability from the paper of record in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal in 2003 — and replacing it with the Reader Center.

Ever since, readers of the Times have lamented the loss whenever an article or op-ed comes out that draws consternation. The paper’s final public editor, Liz Spayd, was less than beloved, but her predecessor Margaret Sullivan, now a media columnist at The Washington Post, earned the respect not just of readers, but of those inside the Times newsroom.

A friend at the Times recently asked me what I thought of the Reader Center. I replied that I didn’t know it had been set up or even what it did. I’m a home delivery subscriber to the Times, a native New…

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