The New York Times Company's new CEO, Mark Thompson, began work today amid questions about his role in the recent scandal at the BBC. Times columnist Joe Nocera gives us an update from inside the paper.
"Certainly Mark Thompson didn't have anything to do with the story that led to the resignation of the current director general of the BBC, which is really shocking in its lack of journalistic standards," Nocera says.
"In the case of Mark Thompson," Nocera says, "he's basically said that he did not know about the pedophilia by Jimmy Savile, who was a longtime BBC personality, and that he did not know that a story was in the works on him after he had died, and that had been killed."
The New York Times is taking him at his word, and has defended Thompson. But there will be a thorough investigation by Parliament. "There's a couple of Parliamentarians who really seem like they want to get Mark Thompson in their crosshairs," Nocera says. "So if he is not telling the truth, it will come out, and it will hurt the New York Times, for having invested so much in him."
"We're the New York Times, and we believe in the transparency of journalism," Nocera says. "I think people are trepidatious in the sense that they really want a CEO who can move the ball forward, who can help us figure out our business model issues, and who can help, you know, make this transition from paper to digital. The question of, 'Is this the guy?' I think looms large in everybody's mind."