Byron Calame

Byron "Barney" Calame (born April 14, 1939 in Appleton City, Missouri) is an American journalist. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for 39 years, retiring as deputy managing editor in 2004. In 2005, he became the second public editor of The New York Times for a fixed two-year term.[1]

Byron Calame
BornApril 14, 1939

Early life and education

Calame earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Missouri in 1961 and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree in 2011.[2] He received a master's degree in political science at the University of Maryland in 1966. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965.[1]

Wall Street Journal

Calame joined the Journal in 1965 and served as a reporter, bureau chief and editor before being named the deputy managing editor in 1992. "As deputy managing editor since 1992, Barney has run the entire paper in my absence and much of it in my presence", Paul Steiger, then the Journal managing editor, said in announcing Calame's retirement at the end of 2004.[2] His responsibilities as deputy managing editor included maintaining the paper's ethical and journalistic standards, and he was "widely regarded as the conscience of the paper".[1] His role outside the Journal newsroom, however, was seldom a highly visible one.

His work at the Journal was recognized by several awards. He received the 2005 Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award,[3] the 2005 New York Financial Writers’ Association Elliott V. Bell Award, and the 2002 Society of American Business Editors and Writers Distinguished Achievement Award.[2]

New York Times

Invited to become the Times public editor two months after retiring from the Journal, Calame succeeded Daniel Okrent in the ombudsman-like position and was followed by Clark Hoyt.[4] His focus on the nuts-and-bolts of newspapering and journalistic ethics drew sharp criticism, and some observers complained that he pulled his punches and was too restrained in criticizing the newspaper and its staff.

Jack Shafer, then the media critic for Slate, declared in a May 2006 commentary that Calame's first year as public editor had been "dreadful". He complained "Calame possesses a mandate that would allow him to boil the journalistic ocean if he so desired, but he usually elects to merely warm a teapot for his readers and pour out thimblefuls of weak chamomile".[5]

Calame was criticized by both conservatives and liberals. Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin called Calame "totally worthless".[6] Sidney Schanberg, then the media writer for the liberal Village Voice, accused him in 2006 of nitpicking a Times national security article.[7]

Some assessments were more positive. Calame was awarded the 2006 Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism for six of his public editor columns. "’He was forthright in his examination and was not afraid to say exactly what he thought and to hold the newspaper accountable,’ said Peter Bhatia, a former American Society of News Editors president who was one of the three judges.[8]

As Calame neared the end of his term, Shafer told the New York Observer: "I think that Barney has gotten better. He’s not engaging in the ankle-biting behavior he was before. I would give him a B for reversing direction, and getting away from attacking the capillaries".[9]

Calame severely criticized Judith Miller after the conclusion of the legal maneuvering over her controversial decision to go to jail in 2005 rather than reveal her sources of information. He challenged "shortcuts" she had taken in her reporting and concluded "the problems facing her inside and outside the newsroom will make it difficult for her to return to the paper as a reporter". His views were hotly contested by Miller and her supporters, who contended that Calame was acting more like a management representative than an independent thinker.[10]

He revealed that an April 9, 2006, The New York Times Magazine cover story by Jack Hitt had asserted—without checking the trial record—that a woman in El Salvador had been sentenced to 30 years in prison for having an abortion; in fact, she had been convicted of murdering a newborn baby. Calame criticized two assistant managing editors who refused to retract letters to readers insisting the story was accurate—after being told of the true verdict—and refused run a correction in the paper until the outcry that developed after his column appeared.[11]

A January 1, 2006 column accused Times executive editor, Bill Keller, and publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., of "stonewalling" for refusing to answer Calame's questions about how long Keller had held up publication of a December 16, 2005, story about National Security Agency classified wiretapping programs.[12] Eight months later, Keller acknowledged to Calame that the story had been held up before the 2004 presidential election and longer than the one year stated in the original article.[13]

Media offices
Preceded by
Daniel Okrent
Public Editor for The New York Times
Succeeded by
Clark Hoyt


  1. ^ a b c Seelye, Katharine (2005-04-06). "The Times Names a Successor to First Public Editor". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c Slinkard, Michelle (2011-06-01). "Barney Calame, BJ '61, Returns to Campus to Receive Honorary Degree from MU". The J-School Magazine, School of Journalism, University of Missouri.
  3. ^ "2005 Lifetime". Anderson School of Management. Archived from the original on August 30, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2007-05-04). "Times Names Public Editor". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Shafer, Jack (2006-05-09). "The Public Editor as Duffer". Slate.
  6. ^ Malkin, Michelle (2005-09-23). "The NYTimes Ombudsman Is Totally Worthless". Michelle Malkin.
  7. ^ Jurkowitz, Mark (2006-06-01). "Your Ombuddy". The Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20.
  8. ^ "New York Times Public Editor Wins Bart Richards Award". Penn State Live, The University's Official News Source. 2007-04-04. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10.
  9. ^ Calderone, Michael (2007-01-08). "Will Bill Keller End 'Public Editor" Slot at The Times?". New York Observer.
  10. ^ Calame, Byron (2005-10-23). "The Miller Mess: Lingering Issues Among the Answers". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Calame, Byron (2006-12-31). "Truth, Justice, Abortion and the Times Magazine". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Calame, Byron (2006-01-01). "Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Calame, Byron (2006-08-13). "Eavesdropping and the Election: An Answer on the Question of Timing". The New York Times.

External links

Alberto Gonzales

Alberto R. Gonzales (born August 4, 1955) is an American lawyer who served as the 80th United States Attorney General, appointed in February 2005 by President George W. Bush, becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic American in executive government to date. He was the first Hispanic to serve as White House Counsel. Earlier he had been Bush's General Counsel during his governorship of Texas. Gonzales had also served as Secretary of State of Texas and then as a Texas Supreme Court Justice.

Gonzales's tenure as U.S. Attorney General was marked by controversy regarding warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and the legal authorization of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques", later generally acknowledged as constituting torture, in the U.S. government's post-9/11 "War on Terror". Gonzales had also presided over the firings of several U.S. Attorneys who had refused back-channel White House directives to prosecute political enemies, allegedly causing the office of Attorney General to become improperly politicized. Following calls for his removal, Gonzales resigned from the office "in the best interests of the department," on August 27, 2007, effective September 17, 2007.In 2008, Gonzales began a mediation and consulting practice. Additionally, he taught a political science course and served as a diversity recruiter at Texas Tech University. Gonzales is currently the Dean of Belmont University College of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he currently teaches Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, National Security Law and First Amendment Law. He was formerly Of Counsel at a Nashville-based law firm, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP where he advised clients on special matters, government investigations and regulatory matters. He often writes opinion pieces for national newspapers and appears on national news programs.

Appleton City, Missouri

Appleton City is a city in St. Clair County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,127 at the 2010 census.

Bill Keller

Bill Keller (born January 18, 1949) is an American journalist. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Marshall Project. He was a columnist for The New York Times, and was executive editor from July 2003 until September 2011. He announced on June 2, 2011, that he would step down from the position to become a full-time writer. Jill Abramson replaced him as executive editor.Keller worked in the Times Moscow bureau from 1986 to 1991, eventually as bureau chief, spanning the final years of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For his reporting during 1988 he won a Pulitzer Prize.

Clark Hoyt

Clark Hoyt is an American journalist who was the public editor of The New York Times, serving as the "readers' representative." He was the newspaper's third public editor, or ombudsman, after Daniel Okrent and Byron Calame. His initial two-year term began on May 14, 2007, and was later extended for another year, expiring in June 2010.

Daniel Okrent

Daniel Okrent (born April 2, 1948) is an American writer and editor.

He is best known for having served as the first public editor of The New York Times newspaper, for inventing Rotisserie League Baseball, and for writing several books, such as Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, which served as a major source for the 2011 Ken Burns/Lynn Novick miniseries Prohibition.

In November 2011, Last Call won the Albert J. Beveridge prize, awarded by the American Historical Association to the year's best book of American history.

International Relations Council

The International Relations Council (IRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan educational organization in Kansas City, Missouri, and a member of the World Affairs Councils of America. As an educational nonprofit, the IRC works in partnership with a range of businesses, universities, community organizations, K-12 schools, and other interested individuals to grow a global perspective and find international connections within the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The IRC works to foster interest in and understanding of international affairs among the citizens of Kansas City through the development of various programs and events, such as its Global Experience Series, Berkley Lectures, WorldQuest, Great Decisions, and many others. As a membership organization, the IRC welcomes individuals and families, businesses, universities, and other organizations to join as IRC members in order to help sustain global-affairs education in the Kansas City community and receive various benefits.

James Risen

James Risen (born April 27, 1955) is an American journalist for The Intercept. He previously worked for The New York Times and before that for Los Angeles Times. He has written or co-written many articles concerning U.S. government activities and is the author or co-author of two books about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a book about the American public debate about abortion. Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Judith Miller

Judith Miller (born January 2, 1948) is an American journalist and commentator known for her coverage of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program both before and after the 2003 invasion, which was later discovered to have been based on inaccurate information from the intelligence community. She worked in The New York Times' Washington bureau before joining Fox News in 2008.

Miller co-wrote a book Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, which became a top New York Times best seller shortly after she became a victim of a hoax anthrax letter at the time of the 2001 anthrax attacks.The New York Times determined that several stories she wrote about Iraq were inaccurate, and she was forced to resign from the paper in 2005. According to commentator Ken Silverstein, Miller's Iraq reporting "effectively ended her career as a respectable journalist". Miller acknowledged in The Wall Street Journal on April 4, 2015, that some of her Times coverage was inaccurate, although she relied on sources she had used previously. She further stated that policymakers and intelligence analysts had relied on the same sources, and that at the time the CIA, congress and foreign intelligence agencies, even those whose leaders opposed the war, believed that Hussein still had WMDs. Her memoir The Story: A Reporter's Journey was published in April 2015 was an attempt to defend her reputation. Bill Moyers of PBS published commentary including a compendium of over 100 sources that analyzed the inaccurate reporting that facilitated the war, including links to interviews with weapons inspector Scott Ritter.Miller was involved in the Plame Affair, which outed Valerie Plame as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy. Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to reveal that her source in the Plame Affair was Scooter Libby. Later, she contributed to the Fox News Channel and was a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. On December 29, 2010, numerous media outlets reported that she had signed on as a contributing writer to the conservative magazine Newsmax.

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This is a list of notable members of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

List of The New York Times employees

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Mystical Seven (Missouri)

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Public editor

The job of the public editor is to supervise the implementation of proper journalism ethics at a newspaper, and to identify and examine critical errors or omissions, and to act as a liaison to the public. They do this primarily through a regular feature on a newspaper's editorial page. Because public editors are generally employees of the very newspaper they're criticizing, it may appear as though there is a possibility for bias. However, a newspaper with a high standard of ethics would not fire a public editor for a criticism of the paper; the act would contradict the purpose of the position and would itself be a very likely cause for public concern.

Many major newspapers in the U.S. use the public editor column as the voice for their ombudsman, though this is not always so. Public editor columns cover a broader scope of issues and do not have an accreditation process, while in order to qualify as an ombudsman of any standing one must be a member of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen.

The first newspaper to appoint an ombudsman was Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun in 1922; the first American newspapers to appoint a public editor were the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times in 1967.At The New York Times, the position was created in response to the Jayson Blair scandal. The Times' first public editor was Daniel Okrent, who held the position from December 2003 through May 2005. Okrent's successor was Byron Calame, who was followed by Clark Hoyt, who held the position for three years. In August 2010, Arthur S. Brisbane assumed the post and held it until 2012, when Margaret M. Sullivan took the position. in April, 2016, Sullivan left the position to become a media columnist at the Washington Post; her last column for the Times was dated April 16. She was replaced by Elizabeth Spayd in July 2016.

On May 31, 2017, the Times announced that it was eliminating the public editor position.

Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner

On April 29, 2006, American comedian Stephen Colbert appeared as the featured entertainer at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, which was held in Washington, D.C., at the Hilton Washington hotel. Colbert's performance, consisting of a 16-minute podium speech and a 7-minute video presentation, was broadcast live across the United States on the cable television networks C-SPAN and MSNBC. Standing a few feet from U.S. President George W. Bush, in front of an audience of celebrities, politicians, and members of the White House Press Corps, Colbert delivered a controversial, searing routine targeting the president and the media. He spoke in the persona of the character he played on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a parody of conservative pundits such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.Colbert's performance quickly became an Internet and media sensation. Commentators remarked on the humor of Colbert's performance, the political nature of his remarks, and speculated as to whether there was a cover-up by the media in the way the event was reported. James Poniewozik of Time noted that whether or not one liked the speech, it had become a "political-cultural touchstone issue of 2006—like whether you drive a hybrid or use the term 'freedom fries'".

Terrorist Finance Tracking Program

The Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) is a United States government program to access financial transactions on the international SWIFT network that was revealed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times in June 2006. It was part of the Bush administration's War on Terrorism. After the covert action was disclosed, the so-called SWIFT Agreement was negotiated between the United States and the European Union.

The New York Times

The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated as the NYT and NYTimes) is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

The paper is owned by The New York Times Company, which is publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896; A.G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, and his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper.Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record". The paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page.

Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has greatly expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials, sports, and features. Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York (metropolitan), Business, Sports of The Times, Arts, Science, Styles, Home, Travel, and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review (formerly the Week in Review), The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. The Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, and was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography, especially on the front page.

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Zeta Phi

The Zeta Phi Society (ΖΦ) was a fraternal organization founded at the University of Missouri (MU or Mizzou) in Columbia, Missouri in 1870. The society became a chapter of Beta Theta Pi in 1890. It is the oldest fraternity in continuous existence at the University and the first fraternity founded west of the Mississippi River.


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