The New York Times unpublished a quote from a rape victim’s blog because it could possibly identify the woman, Times public editor Margaret Sullivan blogged Sept. 21. Sullivan explained that after a reader contacted the Times about the possible identification, the newspaper “removed” it and “that section of the story was paraphrased online and for later editions.”
The Sept. 14 article, “Rape Victim, 73, Says She Reported Earlier Confrontation With Suspect,” doesn’t disclose the direct quote replacement with a paraphrase, but it does carry a separate Sept. 19 correction.
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We wrote to Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan asking if the Times would add to the story in question a note or a link to her post explaining the change. Sullivan’s assistant referred us to Times‘ corporate communications. Times‘ communications director Danielle Rhoades Ha told iMediaEthics by email:
“This is an editing change that does not require a correction or clarification. The reference to the blog is still there. It is paraphrased in later versions instead of being quoted exactly.”