Bill Keller on Koran Burning, Among Other Things

Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, emailed a comment to his television reporter Brian Stelter yesterday for a blog post about Pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn a Koran Day.”

Mr. Keller said that he discouarged all of the editors at The Times from printing photographs of Korans being burned in the paper .

“A picture of a burning book contributes nothing substantial to a story about book-burning, so the offense seems entirely gratuitous,” Mr. Keller wrote. “The freedom to publish includes the freedom not to publish.”

It’s the third time in the last week that Mr. Keller has appeared as a source in a Times story.

On Monday, Mr. Keller appeared in another media article about newspapers that use data gleaned from web traffic to inform story assignments. “We don’t let metrics dictate our assignments and play,” Mr. Keller told his reporter, “because we believe readers come to us for our judgment, not the judgment of the crowd. We’re not ‘American Idol.’”

In a separate article in Monday’s edition Mr. Keller said that The Times wouldn’t be cooperating with Scotland Yard in the investigation of phone-hacking at The News of the World.

Bill Keller on Koran Burning, Among Other Things