Local media watchers are somewhat amused by today’s New York Times’ detailed story telling readers about what the newspaper is doing and planning to prevent a recurrence of the extensive journalistic fraud perpetrated on it and its readers by one of its reporters since last October.
In addition to the various steps which will be taken throughout the paper’s news gathering and editing branches, Executive Editor Howell Raines announced that a committee would be formed to study what went wrong and make recommendations to prevent a repeat of the disaster which has given the Times a huge black eye.
Media observers here have been told by some of their associates in New York that the fiasco will probably cost Raines his position as the top editor of the prestigious Times. There’s little doubt that Reporter Jayson Blair left obvious footprints of his misdeeds all over the newspaper’s newsrooms—clues which had to have come to the attention of editors who report to Raines. Blair got away with his deceit so long because he gambled that his racial background probably would make it difficult for his superiors to rein him in.