New York Times Editing Slashback: You Reap What You ‘Sew’

As CNN’s Brian Stelter noted yesterday, “fascinating public editor column by Liz Spayd, all about the NYT editing processes.”

Readying The Times for Editing 3.0


THE NEW YORK TIMES has a reputation for impeccable editing. Not just because it can turn one particular story into a showpiece, but because it achieves a high level of consistency and polish across its entire report. It’s part of what readers pay for, and what they’ve come to expect.

Its editing architecture, originally constructed in the bountiful days of print, allows for multiple layers of editing that help keep copy clean and errors to a minimum. Except for breaking news, most stories are reviewed by three editors, with up to six or more if the article is headed for home page prominence or A1.

Soon this conveyor will be replaced by a bespoke editing system built primarily around digital.

Bespoke editing. Bestill, my heart.

Unfortunately, as Spayd pointed out, that means “sizable cuts in the editing ranks” and a reduction in “low-value line editing.”

Yeah but . . .

Consider the current state of the Grey Lady’s editing, as evidenced two pages later in the latest column from Times Op-It Girl Maureen Dowd. She likened Trump whisperer Steve Bannon to




The online edition amended that wayward verb to “sows,” but really, the corn was off the cob by then.

Sew . . .

The post-editing era at the New York Times has officially begun.

Sow sad, as the tweeter-in-chief might say.

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4 Responses to New York Times Editing Slashback: You Reap What You ‘Sew’

  1. Robert Gardner says:

    You don’t think this is just knit picking?

  2. Pingback: New York Times Editing Slashback: ‘What Driver’s Want’ Edition | Campaign Outsider

  3. Pingback: NYT Editing Slashback: ‘William Jennings Bryant’ Edition | Campaign Outsider

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