Photo by alextorrenegra / Flickr Creative Commons

The New York Times is removing the highly-visible and often controversial role of public editor, the Times' CEO Mark Thompson announced in an internal memo sent to staff Wednesday. The role was initially created in 2003 in the wake of a plagiarism scandal and has since been filled by six people. The position is currently held by Liz Spayd, whose last day with the paper will be Friday.

Why it matters: As noted by Thompson in his memo, the role of an internal watchdog across many newsrooms has outgrown its original purpose due to the rise of alternative fact-checking outlets in the digital and social media age. While most major national papers had a public editor at some point, many have since removed the position, citing an outdated reason for its existence. The Washington Post, for example, removed the role of public ombudsman in 2013 in replace of a reader representative.

Update: In an article published later Wednesday, The Times says it will also offer buyouts to its newsroom employees, with the hope of peeling back the layers editing they've long championed as a part of its editorial process. This is part of a strategic direction that The Times announced earlier this year to do less with more and focus on digital innovation.

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Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

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NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon


Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pence no longer expected at Amy Coney Barrett's final confirmation vote

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats claimed that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.