The publisher of the New York Times authored a letter to the paper’s readers Friday, saying that the paper would “reflect” on how it covered this year’s election and “rededicate” itself to honest reporting.
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher, asked readers of the Times for their continued support.
“We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” the letter states.
Sulzberger released the letter after the paper’s public editor, Liz Spayd, pointed out the disparities between how the Times covered the election and the actual election results, Fox News reported.
She said its polling feature, The Upshot, gave Hillary Clinton an 84 percent chance of winning. When she compared stories of Clinton and President-elect Trump, she found that the paper made Clinton’s campaign look organized and Trump’s campaign look disorganized.
On its opinion pages, a columnist called Trump a “domestic terrorist” during election season, Breitbart News reported.
Critics of the Times publicly voiced their displeasure with the paper’s election coverage. Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist, wrote:
Because it (The Times) demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president.
Spayd said that the paper got its fair share of readers who criticized the paper for its election coverage. For example, Kathleen Casey of Houston wrote in a letter to Spayd:
Now, that the world has been upended and you are all, to a person, in a state of surprise and shock, you may want to consider whether you should change your focus from telling the reader what and how to think, and instead devote yourselves to finding out what the reader (and nonreaders) actually think.
Another reader said the paper should be focused more on the electorate than the “limited agenda” of Times editors.
Sulzberger, who still maintains that both candidates were covered fairly, reminded reporters and editors in the letter to “give the news impartially, without fear or favor.”
“But we also approach the incoming Trump administration without bias,” he said.