On the Times’ controversial decision to eliminate its environment desk:
We array and re-array reporters all the time. My bosses generally listen very closely for my opinions and then go the other way. I can tell you from my time in this room that energy/environment is a hugely consequential part of what we do. And lots of coverage areas that live btw desks without having one of their own frequently light up the front of the paper or the home page. Our editors up vote environmental stuff all the time.
His assessment of the Times’ paywall:
Win. All of the theologists of free said that we would disappear from the informational ecosystem and that did not end up to be true. Because it is a meter, because it is leaky — which is really a feature, not a flaw — and because social media links ride free, we’ve gotten serious money from people who want the convenience and access, and still maintained visibility.
Gawker and others were all about that, but more and more I see them doing original work, some of which I end up citing. And more and more at our shop, we are putting some sauce on the work of others — in addition to the original reporting that is fundamental to what we do — and sending it out into the world.
When he gets things wrong:
I have written that Dave Letterman was over, that big media was dead and that Rupert Murdoch was going to ruin the Wall Street Journal. Known of those things turned out to be true. The great thing about being a columnist is that you get to say what you think, which is amazing, unless you turn out to be wrong. I don’t paint in yellow much in print. I like people to know that I am coming and want them to have a chance to respond.