NYTimes should have acknowledged WSJ
Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, writes Wednesday that its story about doctors who are paid huge sums from Medicare should have acknowledged The Wall Street Journal, whose litigation led to the release of the data.
Sullivan writes, “The Journal, through its publisher, Dow Jones, has pushed hard on this, as have some individuals and consumer groups, suing to overturn an injunction won by the American Medical Association that would have kept the information private. It has followed up relentlessly, as detailed in a sidebar with today’s Journal article.
“That kind of legal action is crucial for news organizations — and it requires time, expense and persistence. (The Times has done similar kinds of things on many occasions, too. Such efforts are a cornerstone of investigative reporting.)
“I asked Susan Chira, an assistant managing editor involved in the story’s editing and publication, about crediting The Journal. She responded in an email: ‘I agree it would have been better to mention it and I wish we had. It was an oversight.’
“Times reporters Reed Abelson and Sarah Cohen did an excellent job of digging into the data and analyzing it, and the Times story seems well edited and solid. But the underlying information probably would not have been available without the legal fight; there should have been at least a nod to The Journal’s role in that.”
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