MEDIA
04/07/2014 09:57 am ET Updated Apr 07, 2014

New York Times Changes Ezra Klein Quote To No Longer Criticize Washington Post

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Ezra Klein, the editor-in-chief of the just-launched Vox.com, appeared to criticize his former employer, The Washington Post, in an article published Sunday night.

The New York Times’ Leslie Kaufman reported the following:

''We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism there,'' he said of The Post, as he offered a preview of his new site, Vox.com, which was scheduled to launch Sunday night.

The criticism of the Post didn’t go unnoticed Sunday night. But Klein's quote appeared differently Monday morning.

''We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,'' he said of daily newspapers, as he offered a preview of his new site, Vox.com, which was scheduled to be introduced Sunday night.

The wording change shifted Klein’s critique from the Post, which was notable considering he's spoken favorably of his experience there, to the newspaper industry more broadly. On Monday morning, the Times story included no clarification or explanation for the change.

Klein told The Huffington Post that he informed the Times after the article was published online that the quote didn't reflect what he meant. In an email, Klein explained:

Because the quote was referring to daily newspapers more broadly! The point I'm making there is that the print technology gave rise to a way of doing the news -- and, ultimately, ways of publishing the news online -- that ended up locking a lot of what we knew away from readers. It created a culture of how we do the news that focused too much on new information and too little on important information even after the technological rationale for doing that had passed. But that's definitely not a particular Washington Post problem! They're hugely forward thinking on this stuff. I genuinely believe that there's no other major news outlet where Wonkblog could have taken root, for instance. They do awesome stuff online, and will continue to do so.

Update 1:56 p.m. -- The New York Times media editor Peter Lattman told HuffPost it would have been better if the paper had not changed Klein's quote after publication online. In an email, Lattman explained why the change was made:

The original quote was accurate, but it was clear to the reporter from the interview that Mr. Klein was referring to daily newspapers in general and was not intending to single out The Post. When Mr. Klein raised this issue after the story was first posted, the reporter agreed and worked with an editor on deadline to adjust the published version.

While we feel that the final version fairly reflects Mr. Klein's intended meaning, it's not our normal practice to make such a change between editions, and in this case it would have been better to retain the original version.

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