Media news you may have missed this week while you were busy empowering.
Why did the New York Times abruptly dismiss executive editor Jill Abramson â€” the first woman ever to hold the top editorial position there â€” and replace her with managing editor Dean Baquet? The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta reports that a pay disparity may have triggered events:
As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.
Update 5/16: Auletta has a new post removing any doubt that Abramson had been paid a lower salary than her male counterparts during her career at the Times.
Bloomberg reports that in the eyes of publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Abramson was clearly asking for it by “giving interviews and appearing on panels without consulting the company.”
Reporting from within the building, David Carr and Ravi Somaiya fill in more details:
In recent weeks, people briefed on the situation said, Mr. Baquet had become angered over a decision by Ms. Abramson to try to hire an editor from The Guardian, Janine Gibson, and install her alongside Mr. Baquet in a co-managing editor position without consulting him. It escalated the conflict between them and rose to the attention of Mr. Sulzberger, who was already concerned about her style of newsroom management.
— Tara Murtha (@taramurtha) May 14, 2014
Amanda Hess explains Abramson’s effect on the paper’s younger female employees. Ann Friedman writes about the frustration of never knowing for sure how much of a role gender plays in these situations and says, “In real time, it’s hard to be sure what’s sexism and what’s you.” Gawker takes the Times to task for repeatedly changing its story about Abramson’s salary. And Kate Arthur writes: “She got fired with less dignity than Judith Miller, who practically started the Iraq war.”
Of Abramson’s successor, Richard Prince reminds us that, “Yes, it’s a huge deal to have a black journalist run the New York Times.”
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed got its hands on an internal report on the Times’ efforts to adjust to the digital world. Both Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon and Joshua Benton at the Nieman Journalism Lab go over some of the highlights from that report.
#TBT: Ann Friedman’s brilliant “If Jill Abramson were a manâ€¦”
More links from this week:
- Banner ads are so last decade, and can’t have it all at Yahoo:
On Monday Yahoo revealed what those in-stream display ads will actually look like, launching what it described as new â€œmobile-first image-rich native ads,â€ available through its Gemini ad unit. The idea is that the ads blend in with the content alongside which they they appear. In other words banners are too easy for users to ignore, and Yahoo is hoping its new formats wonâ€™t be.
- What your web browsing habits say about how you will vote.
- Can newspaper investors have it all? CJR’s Dean Starkman says you’d be crazy not to buy a newspaper today.
- And what is Choire Sicha’s long-term plan for The Awl to have it all?
I don’t actually know … But we don’t do much. From a business perspective, half of the internet is fake traffic, and fake everything, and that’s fine. But from a personal perspective, people still recommend and share and talk about things that they really like in email and IM. So we want to give people things that they really like and enjoy, but also things they maybe didn’t think they would like and enjoy, because I feel like unexpectedness is a big, wonderful component of the internet. Things that make you say, “I did not know that,” or “I did not know I wanted to know that,” or “maybe I still don’t want to know that.”
- Why aren’t local newsrooms innovating digitally? Because the goat must be fed.
- Why are people mocking that Vox article about Solange attacking Jay Z?
- Former CNN reporter Amber Lyon is starting a news site devoted to psychedelic journalism.
- The Journalism Center on Children & Families (JCCF) is awarding fellowships of up to $4,000 to U.S.-based journalists to report on poverty. Deadline to apply is May 31.
- And finally, lets hear it for all the copy editor’s out their.
Jason Zaragoza thinks you can have it all by applying for a scholarship to attend the AAN Convention in Nashville. Pushy and brusque applicants always welcome.