NYT Uses Its Journalists Offline, Then Abuses Them Online

As the hardworking staff noted yesterday, the New York Times is increasingly turning its journalists into arm candy for revenue-enhancing commercial ventures, from Times Journey duty to high-powered busine$$ forums.

Meanwhile, the Times has stripped its homepage of their bylines.

Where Did the Bylines Go? Times Editors Respond to a Home Page Question

Our executive editor, Dean Baquet, and managing editor, Joe Kahn, explain our thinking regarding bylines on our home page.

We have updated our home page with a new design, and scores of readers have written to us regarding the placement of bylines on the page . . .

There will always be bylines on New York Times stories. We love to boast about our writers, their backgrounds and expertise, and the risks they take to deliver the news. In fact, we put our writers forward as never before.

But . . . “[with] the new design, bylines are now not displayed above summaries on the desktop home page. Desktop will now resemble mobile.”

Of course it will. Because it’s all about mobile now.

Then again, not everyone is interested in going mobile.

From Michael Calderone’s Politico Morning Media.

“I’m a huge fan of writers/reporters (obviously) and I could be in the minority here but I hate that the NY Times has removed bylines from its home page outside of op-ed writers. I know the bylines exist in-story but given the power of that home page, the bylines should be there.” [Richard Deitsch]

“Dear @nytimes: I’ve tried your new home page. I hate it with a passion. I want to see bylines for the main stories. I don’t want to scroll through junk to get to sections I like. And I don’t want news that supposedly caters to my interests. Can’t I keep the old home page? Please?” [Walter Shapiro]

“I’ve been reading NYT every AM since I was a high school freshman. The number of times I’ve read something I otherwise wouldn’t because I trusted the byline is literally countless. With my usual caveat that a lot of media conventions are dumb, I don’t see how readers served here.” [Wesley Lowery]

Amen, brothers.

Anyone checking with the sisters? You’ll find some here.

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2 Responses to NYT Uses Its Journalists Offline, Then Abuses Them Online

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    Here’s the way I see it, John:

    I could care less about the Times not putting by-lines on their home page. It’s their page; they can do with it what they will.

    But then, they are going to have to accept full responsibility for whatever appears there rather than sharing the responsibility with the author.

    Personally, I have no problem with holding the Times itself responsible for anything that it prints.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Fair enough, Mudge. The byline does appear on the story itself, so there’s that. But don’t you think regardless of all the byline mishegas, the Times has always been responsible for anything it prints?

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