The New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan weighed in on the issue of a substantially revised story on Mitt Romney's response to the violence against U.S. diplomats in Egypt and Libya, concluding that both versions of the Times' story should have remained online. The paper's approach to editing and revising online stories is always evolving, Sullivan wrote, adding:
But in this case, the stories were very different in wording, if not in intent, and the quotes from Romney advisers were striking ones to remove altogether.
It’s clear to me that these two versions should have been treated as different stories and that both should have remained accessible on the Web site.
The Times explained to TPM on Thursday that the paper preferred to use on-the-record quotes over the quotes from unnamed sources.