The New York Times has offered buyouts to a number of editors this month, including Liz Spayd, who was appointed as public editor in May 2016 and was supposed to remain in the role until 2018, but instead was let go in early June.
More buyouts are scheduled to occur in the following months and because of this over 400 employees staged a walkout as a means of protest against massive job cuts.
The protest began at 3 p.m. ET sharp in front of the building’s West 40th Street entrance in Midtown Manhattan. Participants walked one block uptown on Eighth Avenue before ending up at the Times’ West 41st Street entrance, where they stood and shouted slogans. Some even carried placards with the slogans written on them.
Some of the slogans were: “They say cutbacks, we say fight back,” “no editors, no peace,” “Our editors make The Times, The Times,” “Keep photo editors in the picture,” “This sign wsa not edited” (intentionally misspelled), and “Invest in us.”
Among these protesters was New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg. Rutenberg supported his colleagues and also covered the protest.
“Job cuts are inevitable, and the ones at the copy desk are a big deal. We’re in a time when all of the media is under pressure to get it right, to be really accurate and careful. We’re consistently careful here anyway, but now it’s as important as ever. It’s interesting, the bosses are not really being pollyanish about this. Their thing is: ‘It’s going to be a rough time, and we’re going to get through it, and every day we’ll have to do more with less to survive this. Look at this gathering. A lot of people care about this place and care about what people here do…. This is a big story as far as this paper is concerned,” said Rutenberg.
Megha Shah for TechFunnel.com