Why is the “Gray Lady” Cutting Copyeditors? The New York Times Has a New Focus


The New York Times is shifting emphasis away from copy editors to reporters. significant cuts are being made to copy editor positions at the paper, signaling that readers may expect to see more errors in stories from the Gray Lady. In a letter to the executive and managing editors, the copy editors stated

Dear Dean and Joe,” the letter begins. “We have begun the humiliating process of justifying our continued presence at The New York Times. We take some solace in the fact that we have been assured repeatedly that copy editors are highly respected here.

“If that is true, we have a simple request. Cutting us down to 50 to 55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality in the report, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic. Work with us on a new number.”

In response, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Khan wrote

“We are in fact eliminating a free standing copy desk. We are not, as we have said repeatedly, eliminating copy editing. A majority of people currently employed by the copy desk will find new editing jobs. All of our desks will continue to ensure a high level of editing, spanning backfielding, copy editing, photo editing and digital and print production, for all the journalism we produce.”

Hopefully, the credibility of the writing will be preserved in this venerable bastion of news.

About The dutty is "the ground," the foundation, the earth--just like words are part of the foundation on which I build my life.

Reason for being: To tell stories and help writers and others with a message to put their best word forward.
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