New York Times public editor: Why we were wrong

Photo: Frederick Florin/ AFP/ Getty Images.

New York Times public editor Liz Spayd published a piece on Wednesday explaining how her publication became out of touch, and ultimately very wrong about Tuesday’s presidential election.

Spayd described the confidence she and her associates shared going into the election, projecting an 84% likelihood that Clinton would win and even going as far as to wonder if Democrats would take the House and the Senate.

Spayd said that letters from readers had since poured in, needling the publication for their wide miss.

“You may want to consider whether you should change your focus from telling the reader what and how to think, and instead devote yourselves to finding out what the reader (and nonreaders) actually think,” one letter read.

Spayd pointed out that the Times wasn’t alone in their misjudgment. Data guru Nate Sliver’s Fivethirtyeight, the Washington Post, and even senior editors at Business Insider all predicted Clinton wins.

Ultimately, Spayd admitted that her publication reduced their coverage of Trump supporters down to soundbites:

“The Times would serve readers well with fewer brief interviews, fewer snatched slogans that inevitably render a narrow caricature of those who spoke them.”

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