From TVNewser to FishbowlNY, here are your top stories across Mediabistro.
From TVNewser to FishbowlNY, here are your top stories across Mediabistro.
This week’s top 5 stories across the site.
According to The New York Times, Executive Editor Jill Abramson is “unexpectedly leaving” her position as top editor at the newspaper and will be replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet. Abramson served as executive editor since 2011 and was the first woman in the role.
According to New York Times coverage of the announcement, “The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear.”
Baquet will be the first African-American executive editor of the newspaper. He returned to the Times as chief of its Washington bureau and an assistant managing editor in 2007 after being fired the previous November as editor of the Los Angeles Times for refusing to cut jobs from his newsroom.
Stenographer gets religious over bill passage
“‘Praise be to GOD!’ House stenographer Diane Reidy is rushed off the floor and into an elevator…” — Todd Zwillich, Washington, D.C. radio correspondent for The Takeaway. Politico‘s Jake Sherman explained further, “An official house court stenographer took to the microphone & was screaming ab God. She was saying in the hall you can’t serve two masters.” Politico‘s Byron Tau added, “What I thought happened but no one tweeted about it so I thought I hallucinated.” And BuzzFeed‘s Kate Nocera: “The stenographer who started yelling was named Holly, she was taken off the floor. Members really shaken up by it.”
“More traffic on the road, the grinding sound of leaf blowers on the White House grounds…the federal govt has reopened, lots of work to do.” — Joy Lin, Fox News White House producer.
“So the shutdown ends, but will we be right back in the soup come January?” — ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“My DC cabbie is sad that there is traffic again after three weeks of respite.” — Josh Barro, politics editor, Business Insider.
Question to never ponder: “Do we think any woman in the world actually goes by ‘Blondie’?” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten.
NYT‘s Dean Baquet scolds persistent reporter
“Evan, no news organization in America would report on every discrimination lawsuit filed in every court in every medium-sized city. Even when the author of the story chooses to try to use cheap tricks to goad people into covering his obsessions. good luck.” — NYT Managing Editor Dean Baquet in an email Wednesday to our resident phone enthusiast and investigative freelancer Evan Gahr. He explained to FBDC, “I sent him two other emails about this and also left two messages. And I hung up on his secretary one time when she answered the phone.” Gahr quickly snarked back at Baquet by email, saying: “Wait. Washington DC is simply a ‘medium-sized city’ as you call it. I thought it was actually our nation’s capital. Silly me. As for ‘obsessions’ the New York Times is normally obsessed with alleged race discrimination–except, of course, when the alleged perpetrators are fellow members of your liberal coven.”
Good Question: “So, do eight car trains return on Metro tomorrow?” — C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art.
Editor pissed about shutdown
“On behalf of America (in Cruz sense) I want to thank the Tea Party for this epic shitshow that damaged economy, wasted money for nothing.” — TPM‘s Josh Marshall.
“America, your federal government is back, and open for business. (Well, soon at least.)” — NBC’s Mike O’Brien.
“And the bill passes. Congratulations. Now the House can get back to passing nothing the Senate will agree to.” — NBC News Deputy Political Editor Domenico Montanaro.
That story on NYT‘s Jill Abramson by Politico‘s Dylan Byers from April is the one that just won’t die. In it, he predicted her potential demise and wrote that a number of journalists in the newsroom didn’t like her brusque manner. “Just a year and a half into her tenure as executive editor, Abramson is already on the verge of losing the support of the newsroom,” he wrote.
Since then, NYT Washington Bureau reporters have discussed how the story actually helped rather than hurt Abramson, since so many have come to her defense since news of her potential downfall broke. The story has spurred a whole debate about gender in the newsroom — for example, while it’s perfectly newsroom charming for NYT‘s Dean Baquet to punch walls when angry, for Abramson, that might seem unseemly. Or else that brusque thing again.
When The Daily Beast reported that Abramson cried over the story, Byers tweeted it, earning him the title of “grossest” reporter by, ahem, Gawker, which adequately devoured the gross market by writing about Arianna Huffington‘s alleged pooping habits.
On Sunday the story was discussed again as NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan called it “unfair” and “unfortunate” and discussed what she perceived was the overuse of anonymous sources. And today, The New Republic’s Editor-at-Large Michael Kinsley has a Q & A with Abramson that once again addresses themes from the piece. Their headline: “Grill Jill: The New York Times’ top editor on mean bosses, liberal biases, and the Post’s demise.”
Kinsley was quick to addresses her “meanness.” He also asked what she thinks of Politico. She never addresses Byers by name, but gives quite a shout-out to Politico‘s Maggie Haberman. Watch out Politico…they snagged Jonathan Martin. Might Haberman be next? Read more
One takeaway by reporters from Politico media reporter Dylan Byers‘ much-discussed piece on NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson is that she’s portrayed as kind of a “brusque” figure while her Managing Editor counterpart Dean Baquet is the good cop, if a little hotheaded at times.
Not so, according to one female NYT staffer who attended The New Republic‘s oparty Friday, which celebrated the opening of its new office space in Chinatown.
Byers’ piece recounted a recent tiff between Abramson and Baquet inside the the NYT newsroom that ended with Baquet slamming his hand against a wall in frustration and then storming out of the office.
“I don’t think he’s an angry man,” said the staffer at TNR‘s party directly to Byers, who was also in attendance. “He’s more passive aggressive.”
Attention is swirling around Politico media writer Dylan Byers‘ story about the New York Times newsroom and how you’re a little too brusque for some tastes. The piece paints Dean Baquet as a perfectly charming managing editor who punches walls when angry. Who doesn’t like an editor who punches his fist through walls? We all want to see this at least a few times in our journalistic lifetimes, don’t we?
And I’m actually being serious.
What I like about Byers’ story is it takes you into the underbelly of a newsroom and gives you a slice of what employees really say and think. These stories are rare and entertaining reads because the weirdest, most spectacular stuff happens in newsrooms. What I hate about it is that it implies that editors and reporters need to be perfectly well-behaved human beings who are never supposed to “blow up” in a meeting. They must work out the tone of their voice. They must anticipate how each person feels. As Byers describes it, your attitude leaves employees feeling “demoralized” and as though you don’t care. Your absence makes them feel forgotten, rudderless. Do NYT staffers need office teddy bears? If the end result of Byers’ story is that you start being nice to everyone, I’m really going to well, punch a fist through my living room wall.
I find it humorous that you went all Miranda Priestly on the photographer and told him you didn’t like a picture on the homepage and then said, “I don’t know why you’re still here. If I were you, I’d leave now and change the photo.” It’s like yeah, get out of my face and fix it. I’m no feminist, but this stuff makes my blood start bubbling. If Baquet had said this, he’d be funny, charming. But you? You’re a shrew. So what if you’re “condescending” and “stubborn?” They’ll live. Unless they feel like doing your job, which is infinitely harder, more time consuming and irritating than theirs, you get to act that way. And by the way, f–k their feelings. Oh, they don’t like you speaking to them like that? Change careers.
Journalism isn’t about feelings or settling for a mediocre product. If that results in blunt talk in a newsroom, so be it. Do we really want our newsrooms to be well-behaved sanctuaries where no one ever gets pissed off or airs grievances in the worst ways imaginable? Do we want editors to be people who only politely tell us that our writing is sometimes sh-t?
I’ve had a few editors over the years who didn’t really care for me (don’t be so shocked). In one case, I didn’t want him reading my stories — he was a crappy editor (they’re out there) and there was another I preferred because he cleaned up my clutter like a surgeon, slicing out words and graphs without losing my voice. Just to be an a–hole, Editor #1 kept the file open so that Preferred Editor #2 couldn’t open it. In another instance, an editor nearly stroked out in the newsroom because again, I had a preferred editor who I wanted to look at my copy. Yes, I’m exaggerating his physical state. But he was old and his face turned fire-engine red as he stood and screamed at me at the top of his lungs about the inappropriateness of me going over his head. Sure, he was “stubborn and condescending,” and his wife gave me dirty looks at office parties. But would I have wanted it any other way or for him not to flip out? Hell no. Flip out more, please. The entertainment value is high and it’s a scene I’ll never forget.
Flatulence and fingernails in the keyboards are also hard memories to destroy. Read more
Kalb Report host and veteran journalist Marvin Kalb grilled NYT executive editor Bill Keller and Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet at the National Press Club last night. Baquet spoke for just five minutes of a one-hour program.
Kalb declared himself a NYT fan who respected the publication as a leader in the news business. But you wouldn’t know it from the tone of the interview. Early on, he pressed Keller on the number of features in the Times, some of which appear on the front page. Kalb said he was “of the sort” who believes only hard news belongs on the front page. Keller defended features, saying they were important for telling stories, and had news value. Kalb wasn’t persuaded.
Asked about competition, Keller said that though WaPo and WSJ are still major competitors, online media have also been competitive, not just for traffic but for reporting and editing talent. He named Politico, HuffPost, and The Daily Beast, and says he reads them daily. Or, as he explained,”somebody looks at them and tells me.”
Kalb and Keller also clashed over commentary and analysis in news pieces. Kalb said there “should be a wall between the two.” Keller disagreed. “I don’t mind analysis in the news pages. In fact, I encourage it…It’s what readers want,” he said.
Kalb seemed pissed…
We told you earlier that TWT‘s John Solomon was upset by an article on the front-page of the New York Times. The article by Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes said that TWT was “decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama.”
FishbowlDC has now obtained another internal TWT memo that says that the NYT has apologized and will issue a correction in tomorrow’s paper. Solomon’s memo below:
I’m glad to report that the New York Times has formally called to apologize and will be running a correction in tomorrow’s paper. The Times’ Washington bureau chief, Dean Baquet, wanted me to personally pass along his apology. He also shared these words with David Jones: “I would never say your paper has been anything but absolutely fair and objective to Obama.” We agree and accept the Times’ apology.
TVNewser contributor Alissa Krinsky‘s timing sure is good. She has a piece up on the future of investigative journalism just in time for the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference this weekend, held this year in Baltimore.
Krinsky also interviews Aram Roston, who was formerly with NBC based in DC and who now freelances for publications like GQ. “For years, people have been talking about how it was in the ‘good old days,’” he says. “Obviously, [investigative TV reporting is] maybe not where it was, but there are very powerful [network] units, and they’re doing really good work.”
Read on here.
Speakers at the IRE conference include: WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, VF‘s Donald Barlett and James Steele, NYT‘s Jill Abramson and Dean Baquet, ABC’s Brian Ross, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, CBS’ Armen Keteyian and Byron Pitts, and David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and a longtime Baltimore journalist. CNN-US President Jon Klein will also give this year’s keynote address. More info is available on IRE’s website.
NEXT PAGE >>