Still suffering from the Jayson Blair scandal and a national survey showing only 21 percent of readers believe what they read in the paper, the New York Times is fighting back with a strategy to build credibility.
In a report today in the paper, a panel of editors suggests a variety of steps including limiting the number of unnamed sources used and responding more assertively to critics.
The paper is also considering an increase of coverage of religion in America and more reporting from rural areas of the country.
Bill Keller, the executive editor who charged the panel with the study said there was “an immense amount that we can do to improve our journalism.”
The report pointed out the Times printed 3,200 corrections last year.
The Pew Research Center study found 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing of what they read in daily newspapers. Some 14 percent said they believe almost nothing they read in the New York Times.
“We strongly believe it is no longer sufficient to argue reflexively that our work speaks for itself,” the report stated. “In today’s media environment, such a minimal response damages our credibility.”
The Times admitted the study’s origins were the Jayson Blair scandal. Blair was a Times reporter who was found to have committed journalistic fraud, including plagiarism and fabricated quotes in at least three dozen stories between 2002 and 2003.