The New York Times' union, the NYTimesGuild, met with leaders from the newspaper to discuss how to "improve the working conditions" inside their newsroom, particularly for people of color. Not only does the union want the staff to be diverse and reflect the make up of New York City, but they also want to make a drastic change to the editorial process.
We met with leadership this month to present a series of recommendations that will create a more diverse and equitable @nytimes. We need a top-to-bottom resetting of priorities to improve the working conditions of our colleagues of color. Here are some highlights: (1/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Our workforce should reflect our home: The Times should set a goal to have its workforce demographics reflect the makeup of New York City—24% Black and over 50% people of color—by 2025. (2/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Document our progress: the Times should publish on an annual basis diversity data that includes information on demographics in hiring, promotion, and retention. (3/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Build a pipeline: 50% of candidates at each stage of each hiring process should be POC. (4/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Ensure marginalized voices help set our standards: the Times must add additional Black staff and other staff of color to our Standards team. (5/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
According to the NYTimesGuild, the newspaper should have a "sensitivity" reading before a story is published.
Get it right from the beginning: sensitivity reads should happen at the beginning of the publication process, with compensation for those who do them. (6/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Grow our own talent: Invest in mentorship programs for POC at the Times, particularly for news assistants to move into reporter and editor positions and promote our colleagues of color from within to leadership roles (7/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Our membership is committed to restructuring our workplace to eliminate inequity and discrimination so that we can do our best journalism. We look forward to management’s response in meeting these goals. You can read our complete memo here: https://t.co/rHVEferJ3b (8/8)— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
The suggestion comes after the Times had internal fighting over an opinion piece penned by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). In his piece, Cotton suggested that the United States military should be deployed to quell protests and riots that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. After the debacle, the Times' editorial page editor, James Bennet, resigned from his position. The editorial board also apologized for publishing Cotton's piece, saying it "did not meet our standards.”
Whatever happened to reporting the news without having to constantly worry about someone getting offended?