The Sun's publisher names Moore to new position of public editor

Aim is to assure fairness, explain paper's decisions

April 09, 2004|By Eileen Ambrose | Eileen Ambrose,SUN STAFF

Paul M. Moore, deputy managing editor of news for The Sun, has been named to a new position as public editor, where he will assess and comment on editorial decisions at the paper.

In announcing Moore's appointment, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Denise E. Palmer said there has never been a more critical need for a public editor because of recent ethical scandals at some of the nation's largest newspapers that have damaged the public's trust.

"Credibility is everything," Palmer said. "The role of public editor is to not only try to make sure we stay fair and balanced and ethical ... but also try to explain the newspaper and some of the decisions we made to our public and our readers."

Palmer said Moore brings an in-depth knowledge of the newsroom as well as the writing and public speaking skills that the new job will require.

Moore, 53, begins his new role May 3. He will write a regular column that critiques the newspaper and the industry, listen to readers' concerns and speak to the public on how and why the newspaper makes its decisions. He will also be involved in newsroom education focusing on ethics and values.

`Inside' reporter

Moore said he will be a "reporter inside the paper" attempting to "demystify" its workings for readers. He said he would explain controversial editorial decisions, such as the recent publication of a photo of dead Americans who had been attacked by Iraqis in Fallujah. The photo appeared on the front page of The Sun and other newspapers.

"It's not intended to be a forum for justification, where we justify what we do. Explain yes, justify no," Moore said of his new job.

The public editor will report to the publisher to assure his independence and objectivity.

8 years at The Sun

Moore has been at The Sun for more than eight years, the last four as deputy managing editor of news, in which he oversees the day-to-day operations of the newspaper.

Before coming to The Sun, Moore worked as an editor for 14 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Michigan native graduated from Albion College in Michigan in 1972 and received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1976. His first newspaper job was as a copy editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas.

"I have been an editor for most of my career, but love to write and basically love news and newspapers," Moore said.

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