Another Fox News in the making.
The New York Times Co (NYT.N) said on Wednesday it was offering buyouts to its newsroom employees to streamline production systems and reduce the number of editors.
The newspaper said it would eliminate the in-house watchdog position of public editor as it shifts focus to reader comments.
"Today, our followers on social media and our readers across the internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be," publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr said in a memo, which was reviewed by Reuters. The Times is opening up the majority if its articles to comments from readers, up from 10 percent currently, according to the memo.
The followers of the American way spoke their will and look who we got for president.
"The one thing an ombud or public editor can almost always do is hold feet to the fire, and get a real answer out of management," Margaret Sullivan, former public editor at the New York Times, said in a Twitter post in response to the news.
"The role, by definition, is a burr under the saddle for the powers that be," she said.
In fairness, "'If we do not get enough takers to fund our ambitious plans to reduce the editing staff and hire more reporters, we will unfortunately have to turn to layoffs,'" Baquet and Kahn said."
It all comes down to money ... or, more rightly, profit. But it will be hard to remember this the next time the NYT iterates its logo "All the News That's Fit to Print."
It was Adolph Simon Ochs, original owner of the NYT who coined the phrase to distinguish the Times from “yellow [sensational] journalism. ... He emphasized comprehensive and trustworthy news gathering."
The NYTimes did many good things. Sometimes it was a little too quick to pat itself on its lily-white back. I remember a former Times reporter saying on a TV interview that if you wanted to be a New York Times reporter, all you had to do was mention Alexis de Tocqueville in the third paragraph.
Well ... it's bitter-sweet whenever the ideal hits the inevitable brick wall.
PS. At a time when the U.S.S.R. had 13 time zones, it used to marvel me that an edition of the all-the-news-that's-fit-'to'-print newspaper might lack even a single story out of that vast land.