Truth, Justice, Abortion and the Times Magazine
Last April, the NYT Magazine ran a story on abortion in El Salvador (Times Select membership required to read) that stated that a small number of women were serving 30 year jail terms for having had abortions. The case of Carmen Climaco, who had received such a sentence after having an abortion at 18 weeks.
On December 31st, the Public Editor of the NYT Magazine, Byron Calame, published an essay that revealed that a trial court had concluded that Ms. Climaco had strangled the infant after a full-term live birth. Calame observes:
The care taken in the reporting and editing of this example didn’t meet the magazine’s normal standards. Although Sarah H. Smith, the magazine’s editorial manager, told me that relevant court documents are “normally” reviewed, Mr. Hitt never checked the 7,600-word ruling in the Climaco case while preparing his story. And Mr. Hitt told me that no editor or fact checker ever asked him if he had checked the court document containing the panel’s decision.