As the New York Times attempts to update its newsroom for the arena of modern journalism, 100 employees have reportedly agreed to take ‘voluntary’ buyout packages after the conclusion of what one local paper called “death panels.”
Grant Glickson, the president of the employee’s union NewsGuild, told the New York Postthat the Times had eliminated the title of copy editor and had offered buyouts to some reporters, photographers, and design staff. However, the Post notes that while the newsroom has been gutted by 100 employees after what it deemed the Times’ “death panels,” it is not clear whether involuntary redundancies will follow.
The Post reports that the Times will now create a “new brand of editor to oversee content in digital, print and video formats.”
The redundancies come a month after reporters and editors at the Times’ Manhattan headquarters staged a 20-minute walkout, during which they held signs and chanted: “They say cutbacks, we say fight back.”
Breitbart News reported at the time that the protest was curiously low-energy, with many staffers refusing to talk to reporters — especially Breitbart News.
Newsroom staff had penned a letter to management expressing their grievances and painting a picture of devastating morale in the newsroom.
The authors called the hope that the paper could have the same level of quality with half the number of editors “dumbfoundingly unrealistic” and called the uncertainty “a cruelly drawn-out period in which we suspended major financial arrangements and life decisions, and carried an ever-growing kernel of fear.”
It went on to describe a situation in which “morale is low throughout the newsroom, and that many of us, from editors to reporters to photo editors to support staff, are angry, embittered and scared of losing our jobs.”
A response from Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joseph Kahn said they “take those concerns seriously” and intend to “monitor this transition closely.”