The New York Times is dismantling its environment desk and reassigning its two editors and seven reporters. Dean Baquet, managing editor at the Times, told Inside Climate News that the decision was made to shut the desk down because environmental news is no longer a separate thing from other news items.
Environmental articles, Baquet explained, were now “partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects. They are more complex. We need to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story.”
Those that have focused their careers on “green news” felt shutting down the desk was alarming. ”Dedicated teams bring strength and consistency to the task of covering environment-related issues,” Beth Parke, executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists, told Inside Climate News. “It’s always a huge loss to see them dismantled. It’s not necessarily a weakening to change organizational structure, but it does seem to be a bad sign. I will be watching closely what happens next.”
There has been no word on if the Times will shutter the Green Blog, which updates daily with environmental news.