Unfortunately, for the last few years, this role has been filled by a doofus named Barney Calame, who approves of or ignores virtually everything the Times editors do and ignores reader concerns.
Instead of hiring an independent, effective Public Editor in his place, though, the Times will eliminate the position entirely. Why waste money continuing the ludicrous pretense that this is an objective, honest, unbiased news source?
Love this quote from the New York Observer:
Mr. Okrent [Calame's predecessor] was a sharp critic who raised hackles and then won respect during his 18-month term. In contrast, Mr. Calame has been a bit more like that other Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur—and not entirely unlike Snuffleupagus, the once-invisible creature of Sesame Street. The readers were Big Bird, and we could see and hear him—but did he exist to anyone inside The Times?Good riddance messages can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.