The New York Times‘s various mechanisms for accountability to readers and subjects, include, according to its executive editor, not just the public editor but a managing editor and associate editor designated to watch over standards. They and a deputy managing editor “all spend at least a portion of their time
dealing with issues of balance, fairness, accuracy and taste raised by
the public,” says Bill Keller, quoted August 28th in the debut column of the paper’s fourth public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane. “Some cases get passed up to me or Jill [Abramson, managing editor], or to our legal counsel. We publish corrections and editor’s notes, and try hard not to be overly defensive when our work is challenged.
“We make editors and reporters available for online questioning by readers, a feature called ‘Talk to the Newsroom.’
We publish reader letters in several places, and post comments on many
of our online stories. We also try to be reasonably accessible to
reporters who cover the media for various outlets. I can’t think of many
other businesses that are as transparent and forthcoming about owning
up to mistakes.”
Nor can I. Certainly not a major Canadian news organization (though at least the CBC, Radio-Canada, and The Toronto Star must get credit for employing reader representatives) or, for sure, if they count as businesses, any level of government in this country.