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New York Times picks an AI moderator over a Public Editor

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The New York Times announced to its staff on Wednesday that it will immediately eliminate the position of Public Editor at its publication. The role will instead be filled by an expanded comments section — one that is moderated by artificial intelligence.

Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, have phased out the role of ombudsman or public editor, an independent voice that serves as a liaison between readers and the newsroom and has the authority to weigh in on editorial decisions in print or online.

In the memo, Sulzberger stressed that there were “several new reader-focused efforts,” including a “Reader Center” announced on Tuesday, that could serve as an accountability mechanism.

 

How strong will accountability be in the news editing process?

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