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 AJR  Letters

From AJR,   October/November 2003  issue

More on Blair   

I think John Morton's piece was correct as far as it went, but his defense of the New York Times leaves something to be desired (The Newspaper Business, August/September).

If New York Times policy is to fact-check and verify, where was the process? No one can believe that Jayson Blair was given unfettered access to print without necessary editorial review--or was he?

The Times must do more that bury its dead with honors; it must reinforce its editorial policies, with no exceptions and tighten them where necessary. Honest journalists may complain, but they will be better for the exercise. Even more, the Times MUST continue to fight to reestablish credibility.

The senior editorial management at the paper will have to provide more than lip service to checking facts and vetting sources.

Barry W. Dennis
Columbia, Maryland

As a print journalist of 30-plus years in the mainstream and gay media, I'd like to commend Editor Rem Rieder on his editorial about Jayson Blair in the June/July issue (From the Editor).

During my career at several major dailies and 17 years with Billboard Magazine, my work always was closely edited by competent city editors. I had a working relationship with them; we knew each other. Even my editors in the gay media were the same.

What I don't understand is why Blair can't be legally sued for fraud in court. By his publishers, editors, anybody? He perpetrated a deliberate fraud, and the race card played about his treatment is as thin as if I would have complained about reactions to my openness about my sexual orientation.

It's time for personal responsibility among all journalists and appropriate, legal recourse. After all, aren't we delivering a real product? Enough is enough! The real tip-off should've been someone pompously spelling his name Jayson.

Hanford Searl Jr.
East Aurora Advertiser
East Aurora, New York