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The New York Times has admitted it ran an article by a freelance reporter who covered a demonstration in which she participated.

The May 6 story described a protest at Princeton University against the proposal by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist – a Princeton graduate and board member – to bar filibusters on judicial nominees.

The Times, in a correction run Saturday, said the writer, Elizabeth Landau, “did not disclose to The Times that before she was assigned the article, she had participated in the demonstration.”

The Times said it “does not ordinarily allow its writers to cover events in which they have taken part, and the paper’s staff and contributors are not permitted to join rallies or demonstrations on divisive issues. The writer says she was unaware of these policies.”

In her story, Landau, a Princeton student, said, “Since April 26, students have been conducting a round-the-clock filibuster to protest Dr. Frist’s proposal to bar filibusters on judicial nominees.”

The Times continues to suffer from the Jayson Blair scandal and a national survey showing only 21 percent of readers believe what they read in the paper.

In a Times report published May 9, a panel of editors suggested a variety of steps including limiting the number of unnamed sources used and responding more assertively to critics. The paper also is 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.

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