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Jill Abramson: The NY Times Will Still be in Print in Five Years

As part of The New Republic’s special New York Times package, Jill Abramson, the paper’s executive editor, spoke with Michael Kinsley. Here are our favorite quotes from Abramson.

On the rumor that she’s mean:

Well my answer is, I’m not. And most of the people who know me well are somewhat surprised by that stereotype, just because I’m not someone who frequently expresses anger or acts in a high-handed way. I’m trying to think of the other stereotypical behaviors.

On the Times being perceived as a liberal paper:

Abe Rosenthal was once asked what he wanted on his headstone, and he said he wanted it just to say, ‘He kept the paper straight.’ And I think about that a lot. You can verify that in news meetings I sometimes say, ‘This is skewed too far to the left,’ or ‘The mix of stories seems overweeningly appealing to a reader with a certain set of sensibilities and it shouldn’t.’

Why she prefers looking at the print version of the Times:

I find that there’s always stuff I’ve missed—the serendipity of turning the pages and discovering something that was never talked about at a news meeting but is really interesting. To me, reading the print paper is still a richer experience.

On the Times’ future in print:

I think it will be available [in five years]. I think there is a healthy audience of readers who really like the Times in print form. We have more than eight hundred thousand home-delivery subscribers who have been with us two years or more, at which point, they’re pretty well addicted to the thing.

If Jeff Bezos will succeed with the Washington Post:

I have heard him speak a couple of times and think that it will be very interesting to watch what his stewardship looks like. And he himself in speeches has talked about the need for experimentation, and I think it will be very interesting, and possibly inspiring, to watch him try to come up with solutions to questions that Don Graham in his note to Post employees said he and Katharine Weymouth did not have answers to and couldn’t come up with.

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