Spotting New York Times Public Editor Conflicts: A Solution With Problems
"Public editor," I note, is pompous Timesese for the vaguely self-critical, yet self-serving, position more commonly called "ombudsman" or "readers' advocate."
In his column today, Calame revisits the issue that first drew Todd Pitock's ire. Read "Spotting Freelancers' Conflicts: A Solution With Problems," and snooze.
As Todd and others wrote last year, The Public Editor's earlier account misreported the outcome and implications of the Supreme Court's 2001 Tasini decision regarding the exploitation of freelancers' secondary rights to previously published articles. In response, Calame said he thought he was properly characterizing the scenario -- thus was beyond criticism even if mistaken (and even if he never bothered later to correct or clarify).
Now Calame regurgitates the whole, largely boring controversy over freelance journalists' undisclosed links to the ventures they proceed to contract to write about for The Times. While I acknowledge the validity of the problem (though not necessarily the scale of Calame's attack on it, in proportion to parallel blatant corruption involving staff writers, not to mention corporate conflicts), I have a gentle question.
Why has The Times -- which touted the proposed class action copyright settlement as a done deal when it was announced in March 2005 -- never reported, in Calame's column or anywhere else, that the settlement has been appealed by a slate of objectors, who will be heard in oral argument before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in March?