Reminder: Senior Editors Must Sign Off On Major Scoops And Significant Stories

Before we post or broadcast reports that break major news or raise ethical or legal questions about someone’s actions, one or more of these senior editors must have a chance to review the story and then sign off:

- Senior vice president for news and editorial director (Nancy Barnes).

- Vice president for editorial innovation and newsroom development (Chris Turpin).

- Executive editor (Edith Chapin).

- Managing editor (Gerry Holmes; Sara Goo).

- Standards and practices editor (Mark Memmott).

What is a “major scoop?” There’s something of a “you know it when you see it” test. If you feel it’s a story that’s going to generate buzz, it’s a major scoop.

Apply the same thinking about “significant” stories.

Err on the side of seeking the sign off.

Meanwhile, any stories that raise questions about someone’s ethical behavior or get into accusations that they broke the law must go through one or more of those senior editors — and our colleagues in Legal as well.

This note is a reminder of practices we’ve long followed. It’s important we keep them in mind. While the steps make it necessary to build in some more time, they do help us avoid mistakes that can happen when we’re in too much of a hurry.

(“Memmos;” Dec. 11, 2018)

December 11, 2018

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