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Forum Post: New York Times Reporters Mutiny

Posted 12 years ago on Jan. 8, 2012, 2:11 p.m. EST by FHampton (309)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

An interesting development. Note that some of the reporters who've signed their names to this open later have, in the past, been hostile to Occupy Wall Street and the student protests against tuition hikes.

But now, they themselves are seeing austerity first hand, in their own workplace. One can only hope that this might cause them to take another look at the world around them. It seems as if their experience is already causing them to do so.

From the letter, signed by (so far) 586 reporters, editors and other staff:

"All of us who work at the Times deserve to have a secured retirement; this should not be a privilege cynically reserved to senior management."




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[-] 6 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Nothing has been sadder than seeing the NYT decline from a respected newspaper to a well-greased mouthpiece for the Wall St. corporate tyrants, during the course of my lifetime. It's been a nausiating spectacle. I love the way the book reviewers compliantly praise every piece of junk that comes down the corprate publishers drainpipe - from George F. Will, to Bill O'Riley. Disgusting.

I'm sure you will remain just as compliant as ever, regardless of how are treated, you gutless sellouts.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

Somehow, quoting Pastor Martin Niemoller ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller ) seems appropriate :

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."


respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Sooooo true.

[-] 4 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Outgoing CEO Janet Robinson walks away with a $15 million dollar bonus. Unreal.


[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

$9 million of which was paid for by slashing the pensions of the reporters and editors. Very brazen move on the part of the Times management.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Robinson, whose disastrous tenure coincided with a drop in the parent company’s stock price from $40 to less than $8 in seven years.

Houston, we have a problem !

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

One can only hope that these reporters begin to connect the dots between what is happening to them and what is going on in the world economy writ-large. And that they change their complacent tone accordingly.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

I think their still in trouble when they have to ask their readers how to do their job. Arthur Brisbane asks readers, "Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?"

(OF COURSE! YOU SHOULD! Isn't that what journalists are supposed to do. LOL.)

Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante? ll http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/should-the-times-be-a-truth-vigilante/

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

It's 'times" for the most important expose' of their careers.

I hope they are busy.

[-] 3 points by PandoraK (1678) 12 years ago

It never hurts until it hurts 'you'.

[-] 2 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

I wonder how far this will reach. It does seem as though the cuts to the pensions have really shocked the staff at the Times. Ordinarily very limp, even right-leaning reporters have signed on to that petition.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 12 years ago

Very few will accept a loss when they are accustomed to receiving, so the tendency to 'cut' at the 'bottom' is strong and that tendency will continue as the 'bottom' 'rises'. More and more will be protesting as 'austerity' measures hit them.

[-] 2 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 12 years ago

Complicit hypocrites!

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 12 years ago

ladies & gentlemen - STOP IT - don't complain - STOP IT

..................S T R I K E

[-] 2 points by aahpat (1407) 12 years ago

This is a good thing.

Take away their pensions and you take away the intimidation that causes journalists to self censor. Since the 1980's American journalists have done a very self-censored job because they live under the threat of having their careers and pensions taken away if they report the real news. This has allowed the right-wing in management to force American reporters to weave a false narrative of the American experience.

The most egregious lack of real reporting has been in the War on Drugs and the harm that it does to social justice, civil liberties human rights and democracy in America. Reporters have long feared being confronted with a piss bottle every time their reports on the Drug War become too objective or fact filled. When they report anything other than the status quo narrative of poor urban black people are all crack heads. This has kept the lid on the real story about how the Jim Crow War on Drugs has been used by the right-wing to subvert American democracy.

Take away the pensions of journalists and maybe, just maybe, they will no longer have incentive to only care about their own retirements. Maybe they will start being journalists for the first time since the 1980's.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

Not sure that makes much sense really. Reporters with pensions are still at risk of being fired.

Conversely, if reporters had more job security, they might feel more immune from retaliation in doing investigative work.

But I do agree with you that the Times's reporting is just dreadful, especially on the topics you mention. I think it goes further back than the 1980s though.

[-] 2 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

From one of the reporters on the website, who signed the petition:

"Like many of us who have worked at the NY Times for decades, and feel profoundly proud of -- and identified with -- the amazing product we put out every day, I feel that the gap between what Janet Robinson will be leaving with, and what we are being offered, is simply wrong."

(Quote is from Tamar Lewin, Domestic Correspondent)

[-] 4 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

How many ironies are there these days? The NY Times has sold it's soul to the devil so many times that even the devil probably doesn't care anymore! Where were you when everybody else in America was being sold down the river? I'll tell you, with your head planted firmy in your billfold. The whole of American mainstream media has sold us out for decades. What the heck is it that you're so proud of? This is what results when people refuse to care about the position of others, when it gets down to them there's no one left to give a damn about them either. Join the goddamned club!

[-] 2 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

Good point. I do wonder how this might change the way some of these people report on the ongoing austerity though. As I mentioned in my first post, certain reporters have written hostile or just mushy reporting of the student protests and Occupy Wall Street. Now they are feeling the pinch themselves. Will they sharpen their tone?

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

I simply can't understand why the whole damn country can't see the writing on the wall. It's really frustrating. It really seems that most people will sell out their own children for just one more goddam day in a dreary cubicle. Unbelievable!

[-] 1 points by jessica613 (1) from 纽约, NY 12 years ago
[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 12 years ago

Wow, ain't life a trip. I like Aahpat's idea. maybe, a retirement package should be based on individual success. If you investigate and eliminate corruption, then you should deserve a retirement package. If you parrot what the policy makers say, well, then you deserve what is coming your way.

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 12 years ago

Plan your own way and save for your own fucking retirement, or day when the company sends you packing. Like the NYT gives a shit about anything but the bottom line. Surprised?

[-] 0 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 12 years ago

no, I'm not surprised that they forsook their fourth estate responsibilities. It seems like a lot of Americans have forsaken their responsibilities to the union, and the accumulative effect is we can no longer, with a straight face, say we are the greatest nation in the world. Let's just hope that a new generation will see self interested behavior as a BANE, and not a blessing.


[-] 0 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

New York Times reporters are 99 percent of the time liberal. They never stopped having your back. Of course they will protest.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

You are hilarious.



[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 12 years ago

Supply and demand: your paper sucks shit, it goes down the toy toy. Get over it.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

The post is about whether the unrest at the nerve-center of the mainstream media might indicate a change in coverage or not. Who are you talking to?

[-] -1 points by bill1102inf2 (357) 12 years ago

You 'DESERVE' a secured retirement!? Who do you think you are exactly? Post Office Employees!?!?!? Your ALL fired!!

[-] 4 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

Did you even read the letter? The employees are indeed making an argument that they deserve a pension that was promised to them.

The Times fired a failed CEO and paid her $15 million severance in the form of a pension. Then the publisher turned around and cut the rank-and-file employees' pensions by $9 million.

Higher wages and benefits are won by workers demanding them. That's how it's always worked. Thanks to workers' demands, and the organization of the labor movement, we enjoy something called a "weekend" which I'm sure you recognize as something you deserve after a hard week's work.

But there were people in the 19th century who responded to the concept: "You 'DESERVE' a weekend?...Your [sic] ALL fired!" These people were anti-social reactionaries.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Man, can't you see what you're saying. Everybody in this country has had their retirement taken away, and the NYT just stood by quietly while it happened. I sympathize personally, but what can you say? The media have been compliantly gagged in this country for decades, if not generations. It's a disgrace to journalism. You want to know how to atone, and maybe even get some support from people in this country? Tell the truth!

[-] 2 points by Courtney (111) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Seriously. I completely agree. The media in this country has got to go. We'll see what NYT readership looks like in a couple years when they've alienated everyone except the ten rich people who are driving all the narratives. They have been totally complicit in bankrupting the country-- by tiptoeing around the truth every chance they get. They still won't use the word "torture" to describe what happened at Guantanamo. They say "harsh treatment". They are cowards.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

I totally agree with what you say. The NYT is terrible, and I do think it is getting even worse. I find myself imagining a strike of reporters and editors. I read one report that the signatories to the letter at one point contemplated occupying the management's offices, though I'm not sure how reliable that was. In any case, the last time there was any disruption at the Times, as far as I know, it was in 1966 when printers for the Book Review went on strike. One of the results was the founding of the New York Review of Books, which is now a leading establishment journal. I do wonder what could potentially happen if reporters quit en masse, or go on strike. It would affect the way news is shaped pretty seriously.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Hear Hear!

[-] 2 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Do you think I work for the Times? I don't. I'm not even a reporter.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

I'm sorry, I somehow got the impression from your comments that you did work for them. I'll just let the comment stand, if you don't mind, for those who do.

[-] 2 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

That's fine. I just decided to post this in order to show how even the nerve-center of the mainstream press is being subjected to the logic of austerity. I wanted to call attention to this because it seems that there could be an effect on the consciousness of the reporters and staff within this institution.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

That's a good thing to do, thanks. The media will either reawaken to it's necessry function or simply become irrelevent. That is, if we can keep the bloody censors hands off the net.

[-] 1 points by Courtney (111) from New York, NY 12 years ago

The NYT times staff just realized that employer-employee relations in the system they helped prop up are inherently aggressive and unpleasant. Boo hoo.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

Do you think this could potentially change their reporting on this issue?

[-] 1 points by Courtney (111) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I seriously doubt it. Most of the front page in the last week has been devoted to the cynical sideshow that is the Republic primary race. When was the last time you read a serious story about labor issues there? When Steve Jobs died, he monopolized the entire front page for days on end. No one said a word about the working conditions in his factories. They made it sound like he was some kind of magical genius.

[-] 1 points by FHampton (309) 12 years ago

All good points. I do wonder, especially with the reporter Tamar Lewin who covers education issues, if the austerity imposed on higher education will get a slightly different slant, at least in her articles. She's been very outspoken on what's happening within the Times, but her reporting on higher education has just been terrible.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Geez, where have they been? I guess they're the last people to figure out the implications of their own work!

[-] 3 points by Durandus (181) 12 years ago

this attitude is precisely why corporations do not deserve loyalty from labor/professional class...all those who work for corporations should find some way to get fired...obstruct the internal workings of the Beast...slow walk...mishandle documents...sabatoge...infect morale...slander...capitalism deserves open hostility and undermining, and this attitude is a pure example of why. Starve the Beast!!