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quarta-feira, junho 08, 2005

PROVEDOR DOS LEITORES do NYT

PressThinkO New York Times tem um novo provedor dos leitores, Byro Calame. Manuel Pinto escreveu no blogue Jornalismo e Comunicação: “Na sua primeira coluna como provedor de "The New York Times", Byron Calame afirma a continuidade com o trabalho realizado nos últimos 18 meses pelo primeiro titular da função, mas anuncia uma inflexão no estilo, que poderá tornar o seu espaço mais parecido com um blogue:

"In the months ahead, there are three new approaches to transparency that I'm especially keen to try in this space: (1) publishing stimulating and thoughtful e-mail messages and letters from readers - with responses from the editors and reporters involved; (2) presenting question-and-answer interviews with key editors and round-table discussions with editors and reporters; and (3) occasionally offering commentary on two or three different topics, rather than one".
Depois de uma longa carreira no jornalismo, da qual 40 anos no The Wall Street Journal, no qual terminou funções exercendo como responsável pelo controlo de qualidade, questões éticas e queixas dos leitores, Calame anuncia a intenção de utilizar mais a Internet no exercíco do cargo de ombudsman.”

Vale a pena também ler o que escreveu Jay Rosen, uma figura destacada do jornalismo cívico, no seu blogue Press Think sobre o mandato de Daniel Ockrent, o anterior “public editor” do NYT cujo mandato terminou em Maio (ver post de May 13th). Jay Rosen lembra que até há um ano o argumento do NY era de que a ligação aos leitores era feita pelos editores e jornalistas. Onde já terei ouvido isto?

“In appreciating Okrent, it's good to go back to the reasoning that held across the 36 years in which the New York Times refused to appoint an ombudsman. It went like this: "Every editor should represent the interests of the reader, and respond to complaints if they have merit. That's what good editors do. We have good editors. We need no ombudsman."

Jay Rosen acha que a influência de Ockrent se verificou em 4 grandes áreas:

“I see Okrent's lasting influence in four main areas:

1.) He changed the way readers were represented at the Times; this is to my mind his most important and far-reaching accomplishment, and I discuss it more below.

2.) Executive editor Bill Keller created the job (and he had his own ideas about how it should work, which have been vindicated) but Okrent created the "office" of public editor, with various procedures for responsiveness. For example: an e-mail address (public@nytimes.com) and a phone number (212-556-7652) that actually work.

3.) He listened (and responded) to critics of the Times more carefully than people at the newspaper thought necessary-- even the most partisan critics. He once wrote, "Closing one's ears to the complaints of partisans would also entail closing one's mind to the substance of their arguments." This he declined to do. In fact, he said his primary advice to Barney Calame would be to "engage with the paper’s critics."

I’ve had incredibly valuable, and frequently fascinating, conversations with Times detractors ranging from FAIR to CAMERA to Accuracy in Media; with people who find the paper anti-Catholic, anti-Labor, or anti-Whatever. The practice has done two things for me: it’s enabled me to empathize with the critics, but also with those who daily endure the assaults of the critics.

4.) One Sunday morning he called the New York Times a liberal newspaper. And even though he meant "...on social issues only!" it was still a profound moment in the history of the Times-- and I believe a liberating one. He said it was his most important column and he's right.”