Some New York Times staffers have completed a report on problems of credibility at the newspaper. Here’s the article, but the full report doesn’t appear to be available yet. This sounds pretty good:

As examples, the report cited limiting anonymous sources, reducing factual errors and making a clearer distinction between news and opinion. It also said The Times should make the paper’s operations and decisions more transparent to readers through methods like making transcripts of interviews available on its Web site.

Don’t see anything about increasing diversity of opinion among its staff, but perhaps that’s too much to ask. The report also suggests making it easier for readers to contact writers and editors — a simple, yet highly effective, way to increase credibility.

But, I can’t say this is too inspiring:

The committee asserted that The Times must respond to its critics. The report said it was hard for the paper to resist being in a “defensive crouch” during the election but now urged The Times to explain itself “actively and earnestly” to critics and to readers who are often left confused when charges go unanswered.

I don’t think the problem with media credibility is that the media aren’t responding vociferously to attacks. It’s that the media often gets things wrong, covers things from a biased perspective, and often spotlights the wrong topics. Any solution must fundamentally address these issues, not how the media respond to attacks.

The article quotes the latest credibility numbers that show an incredible lack of faith from the general public. Good. This report is a welcome sign that the New York Times recognizes that there’s a problem, which is the first step toward any solution.