Thursday, 11 September 2008

Friction between edit and the B-Side at NYT?

I recently posted on the decision to cut back the stand alone sports and metro sections at the NYT.

To which I received this anonymous comment, which I think we can assume comes from a B-side employee of the NYT/IHT.

Am I sensing some friction here or is it just me?

"Don't give them their own section? And all to save a mere $5 - $6 million dollars
(these figures are always produced by the business side and should be automatically reduced by 25-50% depending on who told them to you)."

To this poster above - It seems the business side employees have taken the greatest share of the hits and cuts though buyouts and closed B-units, out-sourced to India and sparing you unpleasantness you could never bear. Maybe the creative (Ha) side need just a little bit more angst to be more successful - maybe cut 200 more writers so that the remaining ones are more productive? Outsource editing to Mumbai writers - they do superb work for the B-side you know. After Jason was found to call in stories from Iraq from W44 St, saloon, the public voted by passing up at the newsstand in the AM.

Just for the record, the 'you' referred to above is 'me' and I think that I am presumed to be an editorial employee of the NYT/IHT, which I am not. Nor am I B-side. I'm a reader.

But I do agree with 'you' about Jason and very possibly cutting some more writers/outsourcing copy-editing.

I think there is A LOT to be said for outsourcing the IHT's Paris copy-editing, but they need more writers, more journalists. The IHT editorial ship, from the perspective of the numbers of people actually out there generating stories for IHT readers that the NYT isn't delivering, is slim. With Asian and multiple editions the senior writers are working pretty hard, at least that's my reading of it, and they probably don't need any more angst. As for NY, I can't say.

As for IHT Paris copy-editors who have been in place since before Gordon B was born, that's another matter. Mumbai away.

However that won't save the NYT/IHT either.

Neither the edit side nor the B-Side have as yet worked out that for the long haul they're both currently engaged in producing and marketing Newspaper 1.0 when what is needed is Newspaper 2.0.

I think blame for this can probably be assigned more or less equally, leaning slightly towards the 'creative' side who are stuck in a journalistic rut that is not of our age.

P.S Did Jason really call in stories from Iraq!!?? I knew I should have read that self-flagellating report more carefully. Here was I thinking that the reason people started passing on the NYT at the newsstand was because Judy was calling in stories from the Veep's office.


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