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NY Times offers buyouts in newsroom reorganisation

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 08:34

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The New York Times said Wednesday it was offering buyouts to its newsroom employees in a move aimed at eliminating multiple layers of editing, to focus more on reporting.

[NEW YORK] The New York Times said Wednesday it was offering buyouts to its newsroom employees in a move aimed at eliminating multiple layers of editing, to focus more on reporting.

A memo to staff cited by the newspaper said an unspecified number of buyouts would be offered to the newsroom staff, with the savings used to hire as many as 100 new journalists.

The Times' newsroom was estimated at around 1,300 last year before an earlier round of buyouts offered.

"Our goal is to significantly shift the balance of editors to reporters at The Times, giving us more on-the-ground journalists developing original work than ever before," said the memo from executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn.

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A strategic plan released earlier this year said reducing multiple levels of copy editing was a key goal for the newspaper as it shifts its emphasis to digital.

The Times said separately it was eliminating the position of "public editor," a position created to help restore public trust after a 2003 plagiarism scandal.

The current public editor Liz Spayd - who has ruffled some feathers with criticism of reporting at the newspaper - will depart on Friday, the report said.

Earlier this week, the Times said it was establishing a "Reader Center" designed "to capitalise on our readers' knowledge and experience, using their voices to make our journalism even better."

The centre to be led by editor Hanna Ingber "will head a team that will partner with reporters, columnists and editors" and will seek to improve response to reader concerns, questions and queries, according to a statement.

The new centre also will aim "to make sure that we are as transparent as possible in how we explain our coverage," according to the newspaper.

In its latest quarterly report, the Times said it added more than 300,000 digital subscribers in the first three months of the year, resulting in a swing to profit for the newspaper branded as "failing" by President Donald Trump.

The New York daily has been facing the familiar problems of major newspapers - shifting to the less profitable online format as print readership declines.

The newspaper has moved to get more readers globally with a Spanish-language edition and an expanded office in Australia, and has launched a daily edition for the Snapchat Discover platform.

AFP

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