NY Times Public Editor Offers Paper Advice

In her final column, Margaret Sullivan goes out on top.

Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times’ public editor for the past four years, did a fantastic job with such a tough role. Given that, she decided to lend the Times some smart, much-needed advice in her final column.

Forgive us for getting misty-eyed as we post this, but Sullivan will be missed. Whoever steps into the Times public editor role next has some big shoes to fill.

Below are our favorite bits of advice from Sullivan’s final piece.

Remember that speed kills. As The Times tries to gain as much digital readership as possible, it needs to keep in mind that accuracy and fairness are paramount. That seems obvious, but in the competitive moment of publication, it isn’t always easy to remember.

Remember the mission of standing up for society’s underdogs. The Times can be elitist in some respects — $10 million apartment, anyone? Cover the rich, yes, but balance that with deep, abiding attention to society’s have-nots.

Keep accountability and watchdog journalism front and center.