Mark Thompson may not be right person to run New York Times, says senior editor
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Thursday 25 October 2012
A senior New York Times editor has voiced concerns about Mark Thompson, the paper's incoming chief executive and former BBC boss, who was in charge when Newsnight shelved a report into sexual abuse claims against Jimmy Savile.
Mr Thompson, who is due to take over at the New York Times Company next month, has said he was not told about the Newsnight investigation until after it had been axed, nor was he involved in the decision to drop it.
The former BBC Director-General claims to have become aware of the investigation only later, when the subject was brought up by a BBC correspondent at a drinks reception in December 2011.
But the readers' ombudsman at The New York Times raised a series of troubling questions about Mr Thompson's appointment to one of the most coveted jobs in the US media. The questions came as the newspaper was reported to have dispatched a journalist to London to look into the Savile scandal.
In a posting on the paper's website, Margaret Sullivan, the public editor, said: "It's worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events." She suggested that it was time to ask a number of questions, including: "How likely is it the [New York] Times Company will continue with its plan to bring Mr Thompson on as chief executive? (It's worth noting that as public editor, I have no inside knowledge on such corporate matters.) His integrity and decision-making are bound to affect The Times – and its journalism – profoundly."
She said the paper needed to scrutinise what Mr Thompson knew, and when, about what happened at the BBC. It was also incumbent on it to consider the implications of his appointment, given he was arriving with "so much unwanted baggage".
The paper could not immediately be reached for comment yesterday.
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN's human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...
17.5k + Commission (£18.5k after probation period): ESI Media: You will be res...
£25k - £30k (DOE): Guru Careers: Two expert PPC Account Managers are needed to...