Thus, another point that should go without saying: the fact that there is now a community of people on the Web who hold the work of Times reporters and their counterparts accountable—which is to say, who care about the Times’s quality and reputation enough to critique it in the first place—is to be celebrated. It is not to be resisted—or, worse, to be dismissively, defensively decried. The bloggers in question in Hoyt’s column—“those outside,” as it were—were doing the work that Hoyt himself is charged with: representing readers, and policing journalists to ensure that the journalism they produce reflects the best interests of their audiences. The Times, in the cases the public editor described this weekend, met its match. And that, Mr. Hoyt, is a good thing.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.