The Columns

New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt to Speak at Journalism Ethics Institute

— by on October 29th, 2008

Clark F. Hoyt, The New York Times public editor, will deliver the keynote speech at Washington and Lee University’s 46th Institute on Journalism Ethics on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Hoyt’s speech is “You Must Be Dumber Than You Look – My Life Second-Guessing The New York Times.” The event is free and open to the public.

The public editor, the paper’s in-house critic and scold, works outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper and receives and answers questions or comments from readers and the public, principally about articles published in the paper. Hoyt additionally publishes periodic commentaries about The Times’ journalistic practices and current journalistic issues in general, when he believes they are warranted.

After starting his newspaper career in 1966 at The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., Hoyt began working for Knight Ridder at the Detroit Free Press in 1968 as a general assignment reporter and then political reporter. He became Washington correspondent for The Miami Herald in 1970, was later a national correspondent for Knight Ridder and then news editor of its Washington bureau.

He was named business editor of the Free Press and then managing editor of the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle-Beacon from 1981-85, before returning to Washington where he became bureau chief of Knight Ridder in 1987. He was Knight Ridder’s vice president/news from 1993-99. From 1999 until the sale of Knight Ridder, he was Washington editor, with responsibility for the Washington bureau and the editorial operations of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

After the sale of Knight Ridder to The McClatchy Co. in 2006, Hoyt became a newsroom consultant to McClatchy to help with transition issues. In 2007, he joined The New York Times.

Hoyt shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with Robert S. Boyd in 1973 for their coverage of Democratic vice presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton’s history of treatment for severe depression. In 2004 he received the John S. Knight Gold Medal, Knight Ridder’s highest employee award.

Hoyt is a director of the foundation of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a former chairman of the National Press Foundation.

He is a graduate of Columbia College, the undergraduate liberal arts school at Columbia University.