Jacob J. Walker's Blog

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My Email to On the Media and Followup to the New York Times

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Yesterday, after posting my blog entry about The New York Times, I wrote to “On the Media”, one of my favorite NPR shows, and also a follow up email to The New York Times.  I hope at least one of these two news organizations will take my concerns seriously…

Here is what I wrote to On the Media (OTM for short):

I am a regular OTM listener, and I appreciate what you all do.  Recently, I found a problem with the New York Times which I have posted on at my blog, in which they had their Mapping America website down for a week. I had expected them to be able to know their website was down, and fix it, but since they didn’t I contacted them.   They apparently fixed the website (it is no longer down), but made no acknowledgement about it.  This brings up to issues in my eyes that I think would be relevant to share with the public:

1. In digital journalism, should the media make acknowledgements of their technological mistakes, as much as they would of a journalistic mistake?

2. Does the fact that The New York Times had a website down for a week, and they apparently didn’t know about it, casts doubt upon how secure The New York Times is?  (Especially given that they had been hacked before!)

Thank you for all the good work you do.

Here is what I wrote back to The New York Times, CCing their Public Editor:

Thank you for the email, although I am a little frustrated that you have made no acknowledgement of the issue. As I posted about in my blog, I think this is an issue of integrity, and one that casts further doubts upon your organizations computer security.  I would truly appreciate a public acknowledgement of the issue, similar to how you would post a correction to a story.  I also think it is important you share how you were able to have a website being down for a week (at least) and apparently not know about it, and how you plan to fix this.

Post Revisions:

This post has not been revised since publication.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 5th, 2016 at 11:59 am

Posted in Security

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