The New York Times came under fire Wednesday after announcing the elimination of its public editor position, cutting short the tenure of its current controversial occupant, Liz Spayd.
The former Washington Post managing editor – the Times' sixth public editor since the position was created in 2003 in the wake of a plagiarism scandal – had initially agreed to serve in the position until summer 2018. She'll leave Friday, the Huffington Post reported.
The Huffington Post noted Spayd's tenure was rocky, marred by both internal and external criticism, including for her remark that it'd be "disconcerting" if those with legitimate libel claims felt "too intimidated" to sue the paper, and for her criticism of the liberal-biased tweets of some Times' reporters.
But some journalists were critical of the cut, including Margaret Sullivan, the paper's longest-serving public editor.
Los Angeles Times reporter Tre'vell Anderson said the public editor slash "isn't outright a good decision."
Another journalist, Andrew Seaman, the ethics chair for the Society of Professional Journalists, said the timing of the move was all wrong.
The Washington Examiner's Byron York agreed, although for different reasons.
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