New York Times turns out the lights at its Green blog
Was the newspaper's sudden decision a sign of continued financial hardships or a shift in editorial focus?
Why did The New York Times suddenly discontinue its Green blog?
Late last Friday, the paper announced it was closing down the blog, which was created "to track environmental and energy news and to foster lively discussion of developments in both areas."
The push-back was immediate, especially from Times readers. "Nine sports blogs and no room for the environment?" said Bill Bunch of Austin, Texas, in the paper's comments section. "At NYT? In this world? You've got to be kidding."
"It's clear who the bean counters at NYT answer to," wrote someone in Kansas City. "They have decided to ignore the biggest story of the century."
"I would have been much happier to have seen a cut-back to the real estate section," said Peter in Philadelphia.
As another commenter noted, "I understand that economics is a driving force behind the Times' decision to shut down the Green Blog." And that does appear to be the case. The newspaper dismantled its Environment "pod" in January and reassigned those editors and reporters to other departments.
And that decision came a month after the Times offered buyout packages to 30 newsroom managers, due to declining ad revenue.
“These are financially challenging times," Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of New York Times Co. (NYT), said in a statement at the time. "While our digital subscription plan has been highly successful, the advertising climate remains volatile and we don’t see this changing in the near future."
In fact, the Times has had three rounds of layoffs over the past four years. And last October, several hundred unionized Times staffers staged a walkout to protest what their representatives called "perpetually shrinking" compensation and benefits packages.
Everyone knows the newspaper industry has been in dire straits for years as print gives way to electronic journalism. U.S. newspapers saw close to 24,000 layoffs and buyouts between 2009 and last year, and more than 166 papers closed down or discontinued their print editions just between 2008 and 2010.
But is the closure of an environmental blog site at a major newspaper purely a matter of financial necessity?
"The New York Times has too much editorial integrity to abandon its environmental coverage completely," Dan Fagin, a science journalist and director of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University, told Inside Climate News.
"But if you don't have the editorial structure to support the kind of commitment needed to do both daily coverage and deeper investigative and explanatory work," he said, "it is hard to imagine that you could keep the same level of intensity."
But an unnamed Times insider, according to Grist.org, says the decision means an end to both the kind of freelance reporting that appeared in the Green blog and coverage of environmental issues.
"The paper is plastic," the insider told Grist. "It reorganizes itself to meet the requirements of the world around us."
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
Like rival Wal-Mart, it's pointing the finger elsewhere for its problems while other retailers are coping just fine.
- Canada grabs for America's foreign skilled workers
- Chick-fil-A thrown back into gay marriage debate
- States fall short on helping struggling citizens
- Oklahoma tornado losses in hundreds of millions
- Some of France's richest taxed more than 100%
- Farmers cultivate drones as new high-tech tool
- Apple's overseas hoard unfair to taxpayers
- Why hugely profitable ESPN is laying off workers
- Tornado shelters become a vital business
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 hovers near the middle of its range as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his testimony before the Joint Economic Committee.
All ten sectors trade in the black, but only health care and financials have been able to register gains of at least 1.0%. Today's top performing group, health care, is once again receiving some support from biotech as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 184.94, +3.40) trades with a gain of 1.9%. ... More
More Market News