Hoyt’s Role at the NYT

A New York Observer profile of New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt (the former editor at the Washington bureau of Knight Ridder) suggests that “the story of Iraq’s weapons, and of the pattern of misinformation” is “a top priority of the [Washington] bureau” and for Hoyt’s column specifically.

During Hoyt’s June 29 visit to the D.C. Bureau, he “presented some broad Journalism 101 principles–sourcing, attribution and so on–but did not make any overt criticisms of the bureau.”

Said NYT D.C. Bureau Chief Dean Baquet: “He happens to be someone who spends a lot of time in Washington. Washington ends up being something he’s got to write about.”

And will Hoyt turn his lens on the Washington bureau?

    He said it “remains to be seen” whether the newest public editor takes specific aim at the Washington bureau.

    “The column on Al Qaeda suggests that he will be bringing to the job a sharpness of perception and a willingness to dive into the most pressing issues,” said Mr. Massing. “That has been lacking in that space in the past.”

    “It’s not like I’m going to have some special laser–that Washington is my obsession,” Mr. Hoyt said. But, he said, it was only natural that this year, the topic will come up again.

    “We’re deep into a presidential campaign, and it’s only going to get more intense,” Mr. Hoyt said. “I know from my experience, [that] Times coverage–and all newspaper coverage–comes under a microscope. I’m sure I’ll be looking at Times political coverage.”