Liz Spayd calls for the NYT to be more transparent in why substantial story edits happen

“Readers, I believe, are far more sophisticated than they’re given credit for and want more transparency in stories that are shapeshifting before their eyes,” New York Times public editor Liz Spayd writes. “When changes affect a story’s overall tone or make earlier facts obsolete, or when added context recasts a story, readers should be told.” Spayd says that putting a note for every update isn’t necessary, but instead calls on the NYT to give readers insight to “why some stories were substantively changed.” To decide whether a note is necessary, Spayd suggests that editors ask themselves, “Has the tone of the story changed? Are there important new facts central to its takeaway? Or, the key litmus test: Would readers be agitated to discover that changes were made?”

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