January 31, 2008
Keeping it fair and balanced at the Los Angeles Times
Q&A with Op-Ed Editor Nicholas Goldberg
(Page 4 - Previous Page)Reading pieces you that you disagree with is terribly important, in my opinion. If you really want to understand an issue, you really want to hone your own arguments to be sure that your own preconceptions are correct. We should all always be re-evaluating what we think, and re-arguing our arguments and taking on our opponents, it's the only way to work through it.
JJ: But what if your opinion won't change because it's based on emotions?
NG: Everyone's opinion is based on emotion, but you have to empower your opinion with facts and new information and some kind of empathy for other people's emotions. It's hard to do. Really this is not just about Israel and Palestine, this is about many, many of the issues we write about on these pages.
The Correction Process
Media watchdog groups sometimes claim that Los Angeles Times' Op-Eds contain factual errors, and they ask how the editing process works, as well as corrections for articles.
Times' Opinion Editor Nicholas Goldberg said many of the Op-Ed pieces -- especially sensitive ones -- go through a fact-checking process, and the newspaper has a "strong policy" to correct errors that occur.
What merits a correction?
"Sometimes even that's a judgment call," Goldberg said. The decision is usually made collectively by the readers' representative, the Op-Ed section editors and the editors who worked on the piece.
"A correction is for a factual error. If we say something is the case that is not the case indisputably, then that merits a correction," Goldberg said.
Issues of interpretation and opinion will not be corrected. In those instances, readers can respond by writing letters to the editor or to the online "Blowback" column by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org.