Dear Public Editor: What Are You Doing?


"What the Times and most other newsrooms mostly do now is not so much listen to readers as watch and analyze them, like fish in a bowl," Spayd lamented. Instead, she suggested, the paper's top editors should spend their time peppering individual subscribers with questions, such as, "What do they want done differently? What do they turn to other sites for?" She proceeded to undermine her own argument by citing as examples a series of audience trends--the shift to mobile, the rise of ad-blockers--that could have only been detected in the aggregate. My colleague Isaac Chotiner was quick to catch on to what he called her "phony populism," whose underlying assumption seemed to be that the paper's editors ought to prioritize the whims of random readers over their own news judgment.

State to Hold Public Meetings About How to Improve Parks

U.S. News

The state has proposed fee increases at state beaches and campsites as part of the plan to add staffing in the state parks system. The state Department of Environmental Management plans to talk about the challenges of running more than 65 unique recreational areas with minimal staff, outline the possibilities of adding services through new investment and listen to comments and concerns.

Most Philadelphia Public Libraries to Close on Saturdays

U.S. News

The library system says only 23 of its 54 branches will be open on those days because the system can't hire sufficient staff for the facilities.

Manchester Public Libraries Eliminate Late Fees for Children

U.S. News

City officials say the policy change does not affect books that are lost or damaged. WMUR-TV reports library official Karyn Isleb says the change is an attempt to make children more comfortable using the library.

Former Chicago Public Schools Chief Sentenced for Fraud

U.S. News

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday sentenced the former chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools to 4-1/2 years in prison for her role in a scheme to steer lucrative contracts to one of her previous employers in exchange for kickbacks and bribes, the Department of Justice said.