Friday, March 11, 2005

WYCLIFF: JOURNALISTS HAVE "DUTY AS PATRIOTS" interviews Don Wycliff, public editor of the Chicago Tribune:
[T]he reason my job here at the Tribune is called public editor is that I'm not supposed to be neutral in the strictest sense. When my job was created in 1991, the editor who appointed the first public editor wanted some involvement in the newsroom's practices and involvement in making it better, in terms of corrections and those sorts of things. You can't be neutral about that. You can't be neutral about the fact that you want the organization you are working for to be a better organization.

I take the same stance about this company that journalists do about the government. It's their duty as patriots to expose the working of the government to the American people so they can make an intelligent decision. Even if at times the things they're exposing make government officials unhappy. If we do stupid things here, if we make questionable decisions, then I don't think I'm being disloyal to my organization by criticizing them. (emphasis added)

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