imediaethics.org – Sydney Smith
The New York Times‘ book review of Niall Ferguson’s book on Henry Kissinger didn’t disclose that the reviewer had been asked to write the book and had previously co-authored a chapter of a book with Ferguson.
The Times added an editor’s note Oct. 2 to Andrew Roberts’ review of Ferguson’s “Kissinger. Volume 1. 1923-1968: The Idealist.” It reads:
“After this review of the first volume of Niall Ferguson’s authorized biography of Henry Kissinger was published, editors learned that the reviewer, Andrew Roberts, had initially been approached by a publisher to write the biography himself; he says he turned the offer down for personal reasons, and Ferguson was eventually enlisted to undertake the task. In addition, Roberts and Ferguson were credited as co-authors of a chapter contributed to a book edited by Ferguson and first published in 1997 (Roberts describes their relationship as professional and friendly, but not close). Had editors been aware of these connections, they would have been disclosed in the review.”