June 10, 2017

The New York Times showed this weekend that Twitter can be a serviceable public editor, at least when it comes to copy editing.

On Saturday, the newspaper tweaked a headline on its profile of NBC News correspondent Katy Tur after criticism that the original headline, “Katy Tur Is Tougher Than She Looks,” was sexist. The new headline read: “Katy Tur’s Swift and Surprising Rise.”

On Sunday, The New York Times changed the headline again, after readers complained that Tur’s hard-fought ascent at NBC News wasn’t “surprising”:

Readers had criticized the original headline, noting that a male journalist would likely not be described in those terms:

The New York Times has faced criticism of this sort before, most recently for an obituary of a rocket scientist that said the subject could make “a mean beef stroganoff.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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