The union that represents a group of employees at The New York Times announced that their members will stage a walk-out from the newsroom Thursday afternoon to protest potential layoffs and staff reductions.
“New York Times editors, reporters and staff will come together to leave the newsroom and their offices in protest of management’s elimination of copy editors,” reads the statement from NewsGuild of New York.
“After a year and a half of uncertainty about their futures, New York Times editors and staff have expressed feelings of betrayal by management. The staff has been offered buyouts and if a certain number of buyouts is not reached, layoffs will ensue for the editorial staff and potentially reporters as well.”
NewsGuild president Grant Glickson wrote an open letter to The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet earlier this week addressing the staffing situation, calling it a “humiliating process” and contending that the number of editors being dismissed is “dumbfoundingly unrealistic.”
“We have begun the humiliating process of justifying our continued presence at The New York Times. We take some solace in the fact that we have been assured repeatedly that copy editors are highly respected here,” Glickson wrote.
“If that is true, we have a simple request. Cutting us down to 50 to 55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality in the report, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic,” his letter read. “Work with us on a new number.”
Baquet responded in a statement, saying, “The Times has far more editors relative to reporters or to the number of stories we publish than any of our traditional print peers or our newer digital rivals. After this restructuring, we will continue to invest far more in editing than any of our competitors do.”
“This is a difficult process for us all,” Baquet noted.
Although the Times has broken subscription records since the November election of President Trump, they made the decision in early June to eliminate the role of public editor, replacing the traditional voice for readers’ concerns with an expanded platform for comments.
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