NYT Slaps Reporter for Facebook Source

Reporter reprimanded for messaging minors
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2008 11:00 AM CST
New York Times reporter and moderator Jodi Kantor makes a point during the 'Bigger Roles, Smaller Films' session of the New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend January 8, 2005 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Backlash against the New York Times reporter who contacted minors on Facebook to locate sources has led Times public editor Clark Hoyt to declare, “I would not have sent the messages.” Jodi Kantor, author of last month’s unflattering front-page profile of Cindy McCain, reached out to classmates of McCain's daughter to find parents who knew McCain. Her efforts were labeled by some as “disgusting.”

Kantor insists she would never have quoted a child. Still, Hoyt said Kantor could have found a better method—or at least consulted with editors first. The reporter’s gaffe came to light when the McCain campaign released one of the messages, leading one conservative blogger to call it “an attempt by a gossip-rag muckraker to get teenagers to dish dirt on a celebrity.”