In New York, duhiggs two business-desk colleagues, who wrote the Bridgewater story, were watching the dalio interview. They quickly posted a piece that included Dalios criticism of their story, but they also noted that Bridgewater had confirmed the episodes at issue and"d a spokeswoman for the times saying the paper stood by the original story. Later, at the end of the day in California, after Dalio was gone from the stage and as the conference was winding down, duhigg offered a short defense of the times, saying he unequivocally disagreed with Dalios remarks that the times sensationalized news. Dalio wasnt finished needling the times. He uploaded a video of himself blasting the paper, distributing it through LinkedIn. In response, duhigg urged viewers to also look at what hed said at the end of the conference.
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A times piece in the summer of 2016, which described the funds culture as a cauldron of fear and intimidation, had prompted a sharp retort from Dalio, who insisted the reality was exactly the opposite. So a few weeks later, in an email pitch to dalio for the conference, duhigg sought to smooth over any concerns the executive may have had about the newspapers coverage. I can think its of no one better than you to describe how a company can build a strong culture that encourages creativity, excellence and innovation, duhigg wrote. Unbeknownst to duhigg, a reporter who covers hedge funds, Alexandra Stevenson, who sits near Duhigg at the times, was working on a story, with a colleague, about Bridgewater that wound up in the newspaper the day the conference opened. The story, based on interviews with employees, suggested that the companys work environment could be intimidating and helped explain why as many as one third of its 1,500 employees leave within two years of being hired. The story excerpted part of a statement from Bridgewater and linked to the full text, in which the company told the reporters it would be misleading and untruthful not to include in the story what Duhigg had told Dalio sobre in his invitation. The day after the piece landed, duhigg interviewed Dalio live on stage. After a few minutes talking about Bridgewater, dalio started to lambast the times for its ridiculous piece the day before. Dalio told Duhigg he thought it had been intentionally done incorrectly. Duhigg let Dalio speak his mind and twice during the interview brought Dalio back to the subject of the times, which Dalio proceeded to criticize again.
A few months later, duhigg helped craft a code of conduct to ensure the events adhered to the ethical standards of the newsroom, essay including being fair and open with parties and transparent in our dealings. Duhigg stepped down from his post last October to become a senior editor and columnist but continues to participate in some times conferences, including the one in March at the ritz-carlton in Half moon bay. The two-day event, called the new Work summit, cost 4,000 to attend. Featured speakers included the chief executives of and Chobani, as well as the filmmaker lee daniels. Duhigg had been working for months to entice ray dalio, a prominent but controversial hedge fund executive, to attend. It was, in some ways, a long shot. The times, like many news outlets, had been tough on Dalio and his firm, Bridgewater Associates, which is run on a philosophy of radical transparency, in which 99 percent of all meetings are taped.
He was also a co-author of the papers 2014 innovation report, which called for the times newsroom to remain walled off from the papers advertising arm. After Baquet became executive editor, he encouraged Duhigg to take a leadership role in some of the collaborations between business and the newsroom. Duhigg and Baquet had met years earlier at the los Angeles Times, where baquet, who was that papers editor, still recalls the painful, searing experience of presiding over a newsroom that lost 400 jobs in five years. Baquet hired Duhigg, who had started out as an entrepreneur, running an education company in New Mexico that consulted for nonprofit universities. Baquet, who had worked at The new York times as a reporter and editor from 1990 to 2000, left Los Angeles to return to the times in 2007, lured biography back in part by Abramson. He reconnected with Duhigg, who had been hired by the times the year before baquet returned. In April 2015, baquet, by now running the paper, announced that Duhigg, who he called one of our biggest stars, would become the newsroom leader for the companys events and conference business, working alongside a senior vice president from the papers corporate side, dorothea herrey. The expanding unit, called nyt live, is part of a small but growing segment of the corporation that includes other Times units like the product review and recommendation site wirecutter. Those affiliated companies brought in about 94 million last year, or short 6 percent of the companys total.
She recalls a heated conversation with Baquet, in which she argued forcefully. Baquet, she says, found her to be unbending, and told her, you never want to listen to anyone who disagrees with you. Baquet recalls telling Abramson she was being unreasonable. The ban was not rescinded, and before long Abramson was fired. Sulzberger says these disputes had nothing to do with it, while Abramson feels her resistance to cracks in the wall contributed to her dismissal. Baquet explained to me why he supported the cooling-off period. Its ridiculous to say that somebody in their 20s, who needs to make a nickel, who is a videographer at t brand the times s advertising studio, has to eat, and lives in a studio, is banned for life from journalism. He also acknowledged that his hiring last September of someone from the t brand studio to assume a key newsroom post probably violated the one-year cooling-off period, but argued that his decision was, nonetheless, correct. Charles Duhigg is an award-winning Times journalist as well as a best-selling author of business books.
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I didnt want the energy of our journalists focused on revenue-producing products, she tells. Her response to Thompson: If thats what you expect, you have the wrong executive editor. In recalling the exchange now, Thompson agrees thats how Abramson responded, but remembers his proposal differently: he recalls telling her the newsroom should play a central role in developing the digital strategy for the company. He didnt mention revenue, and thats a very big difference. (I presented the two competing recollections to another person who was there.
This person declined to speak on the record, but recalled the flap and confirmed Abramsons recollection. Baquet says, mark has never said we need to produce revenue-driven stories.) Abramson admits she may be too much of a purist in an era when lines are blurred and changes unending. (She currently writes a column for The guardian, a publication that competes for online readers with the times and is facing financial pressures.) maybe i was too hard-line, she says, but I believed in the wall between the business and news sides of the times. She also recognizes that its hard in digital to decide whether technology and design are business or news, so the wall is not so easy to design or maintain. At war another moment in 2014, Abramson returned from a business trip in China to find that Baquet and another editor had come up with the idea for the cooling-off period before employees could shift between the studio and the newsroom. Abramson wanted a ban, period. When I came back, she wrote in an email to me, i intended to rescind this cooling-off period, because, in part, writing ad copy and news were two different skills.
They both agreed to speak with me for this piece, as did some 50 other current and former. Times journalists and executives. I have tried to be impartial, staying true to the credo of the. Times that dates back to 1896, and open to the technological and cultural changes that have redrawn the media landscape since my departure 11 years ago. One indisputable success has been the times s creation of a digital paywall.
The paper now has more than 2 million digital subscribers, and this new revenue source—223 million last year—helped turn the companys fortunes around after it had to be rescued in 2009 by mexican billionaire carlos Slim. While Slim still owns 17 percent of one class of stock, the company is controlled by another class, owned by the heirs of Adolph Ochs, who bought the paper in 1896 and crafted its credo of presenting the news without fear or favor. The publisher, Arthur Sulzberger., represents the fourth generation of family control, and his 36-year-old son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, is the deputy publisher. Both are committed to upholding the family tradition. Icymi: Why a meryl Streep, tom Hanks movie has former New York times journalists ticked off But Thompson, who arrived at the times in 2012 from the bbc, hasnt always been so firm as hes navigated the news and business sides of the company. For instance, while he praises Abramson in an interview for setting clear ground rules on branded content that made it something the newsroom could live with, the two of them had a significant clash in 2014 that left her feeling increasingly alienated. Abramson says she and Thompson were discussing revenue-producing products, and Thompson said something like, all of the ideas should come from the newsroom. What offended Abramson was the dramatic shift in responsibility signaled by Thompsons request.
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Other tradeoffs, over placement of ad-driven stories such as The daily 360, a sponsored video that gets prominent play on the papers homepage, and fissures in the newsroom over the increasing blend of marketing and journalism, have emerged more recently. One involved a particularly controversial conference this past March at a ritz-carlton luxury resort in Half moon bay, california. The clash, according. Times mother staffers, centered on the differences between access reporting and accountability journalism. The transition from Abramson, the first female executive editor, to baquet, the first African-American in that role, was a painful episode for the. Reporting on their differences has not been easy for. I worked with, and under, both of them during my career at the paper, which began in 1976 and ended at the start of 2006.
The new York times, baquet says in an interview. Pulling that off, he says, required cooperation with the business side. If the newsroom hadnt been a strategic partner, we either wouldnt have made it, or we would have made it on terms we dont like. But not everyone at the, times is happy with the way baquet has navigated the divide. Some of that friction became evident near the end of the three-year tenure of Jill Abramson, baquets predecessor as executive editor. In an interview, Abramson discloses two major showdowns she analysis had over the newsrooms relationship with the business side, shedding additional light on the accepted narrative surrounding her departure from the paper. One confrontation involved a request by mark Thompson, the chief executive officer of the company, for the newsrooms help in digital initiatives, a request Abramson dramatically spurned. The other clash, with Baquet, was over the proposed one-year cooling-off period; Abramson favored an outright ban on advertising employees moving to the newsroom.
units and journalists, arguing that enforcing their separation was archaic in a digital age. And its recommendations were implemented, opening new avenues for the paper to successfully engage with its audience. But the 2014 report also drew a line: The advertising arm of the company should remain walled off from the newsroom, it stated. Around the same time, senior editors introduced a cooling-off period before employees from the advertising studio could work in the newsroom. Today, the paper is actively ignoring some of those recommendations, amid increasing signs that one of the last remaining firewalls in journalism is crumbling. Dean Baquet, who has been executive editor of the paper since may 2014, says flatly that the traditional news-advertising divide has become a luxury the. Times can no longer afford. Icymi: Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda. I came into this place fighting for the survival.
Icymi: For, the new York times, trump is a sparring partner with benefits. These sections, often paired with, times -backed live events, are a growing part of surgery the business model of what has been the newspaper of record, and just one example of the extent to which the newsroom and the companys marketing department now work together. The editor of these sections meets once a week with the advertising department to discuss possible projects, while the advertising studio of the. Times acts as a matchmaker between reporters and sponsors. In one sense, such initiatives might be seen as the new normal, as newspapers like the. Times scramble for creative approaches in an industry whose finances are growing creakier by the day. Times is a unique beast, in journalism and within its own midtown Manhattan tower, and a bevy of new initiatives being rolled out to buoy the companys bottom line worry journalists at a paper that has long maintained a firm separation between its news and. Continuing job cuts in the newsroom, even as the business side of the paper continues to grow, have made those tensions even more acute.
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The April 2 edition of the sunday. New York times, where the paper features its best journalism, included a six-page special section, women Today, pegged to a summit in Manhattan a few days later. The featured piece, on the state of the womens movement, was by tina Brown, the well-known journalist who founded the summit. In addition, eight women participating in the conference offered surgery brief first-person accounts, and other articles appeared on topics that ranged from campus feminism to abortion. What wasnt in any of the stories was the fact that the. Times itself owned a minority stake in the conference. Although the papers own standards call for transparency in this area, the section didnt disclose the papers financial interest.