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NYT Eliminates Its ‘Environmental News Desk’

From the Daily Caller:

NY Times eliminates environmental news desk in nod to ‘shifting’ reporting landscape

By Michael Bastasch | January 14, 2013

The New York Times will soon be closing its environmental news desk and reassigning its seven reporters and two editors to other departments as part of a restructuring effort to adapt to the “shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting,” reports InsideClimate News.

“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly,” Dean Baquet, the paper’s managing editor for news operations, told InsideClimate. “To both me and Jill [Abramson, executive editor], coverage of the environment is what separates the New York Times from other papers. We devote a lot of resources to it, now more than ever. We have not lost any desire for environmental coverage. This is purely a structural matter.”

Two editorial positions — environment editor and deputy environment — are being eliminated, though no decision has been made on what to do with the Green Blog.

Our side might be tempted to think The Times made this move because we have carried the day. And that too many people now realize man-made global warming is a hoax.

But, unfortunately, it’s clear the editors at The Times believe they’ve won, and so there isn’t as much of a need to keep propagandizing as hard on the subject. After all, you’ll notice they are going to cut back on their ‘gay news desk.’

Last month the Times announced that it would offer buyout packages to thirty non-union newsroom managers to cut costs.

Notice they don’t believe in recycling employees. By the way, also notice that they don’t dare touch their union staff.

However, Baquet said that the decision to cut the environmental desk has nothing to do with budgetary concerns and so no one is expected to lose their job. Rather, this move was “prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting,” according to InsideClimate.

The environmental desk was created in 2009, back when environmental coverage was seen as “singular and isolated” — “pre-fracking and pre-economic collapse” — however, environmental stories are more complex and are “partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects,” said Baquet…

The Luddites at the New York Times are still deathly afraid of fracking. They obviously believe Matt Damon and reject the ‘scientific consensus’ that fracking is completely safe. — Why is that? Are they fracking ‘deniers’?

However, Baquet he would make sure that the Times’ environmental coverage doesn’t falter.

“My goal is to make sure we’re producing the same level of work,” he told InsideClimate. It “is too important of a topic to let it slip.”

Also, Glenn Kramon, the paper’s assistant managing editor, told The Daily Climate that he expects coverage of climate change issues to be “just as aggressively going forward.”

So the lies will keep coming.

Kramon said that “climate change is one of the few subjects so important that we need to be oblivious to cycles and just cover it as hard as we can all the time.”

Just like gay marriage.

The decision to close the desk was met with “shock and anger” on Twitter and Facebook, according to Andrew Revkin of the NY Times’ Dot Earth Blog.

Is nothing sacred?

“[W]ithout a designated staff your editor would have to rely completely on borrowing reporters from other desks, and editors on those desks would get no credit from management for any environmental stories their borrowed reporters produce,” Dan Fagin [sic], journalism teacher at New York University, wrote on Revkin’s Facebook wall.

Beth Parke, executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists, also expressed concerns about the Times’ decision and called the it “worrying.”

“Dedicated teams bring strength and consistency to the task of covering environment-related issues,” she told InsideClimate. “It’s always a huge loss to see them dismantled … It’s not necessarily a weakening to change organizational structure, but it does seem to be a bad sign. I will be watching closely what happens next.”

Revkin argues that the Times’ environmental coverage will continue to break new ground.

But not via fracking.

“The Times excelled at environmental coverage before there was an environment pod, continued during that phase, and, I predict, will do so going forward, within the financial constraints facing all journalism,” writes Revkin. “I know they recognize the importance of global warming, the erosion of the world’s biological riches, the impacts of pollution on people and ecosystems.”

And gay marriage.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 14th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “NYT Eliminates Its ‘Environmental News Desk’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Seen on ET last night …

    “THe venerable Grey Lady of New York announced closing their Environmental News Desk today. Dean Baquet and Jill Abramson made it clear that while fracking is a priority issue at the Times, gay marriage is also. They had to make an editorial/financial decision in order to keep the 162 year old paper financially stable. The seven reporters and two editors formerly assigned to this now defunct Environmental News desk have been re-tasked to a new editorial slot the paper’s Board of Directors believe will be a front page issue for decades to come, gay fracking. Abramson said of the issue, “It’s time to recognize gay fracking for what it is and force the reader to confront the many extreme issues gay fracking represents.”

  2. River0 says:

    Coincidence? They pull the plug at the very moment it’s becoming obvious that the Chinese are cheating on air pollution, and don’t give damn about the atmosphere, their neighbors, or the environment. This is so they can undercut manufacturing costs in the developed nations of the world, which have to pay the enormous costs of regulation and pollution technology.

    Check this out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/beijing-china-smog-air-pollution-2013_n_2470589.html

  3. yadayada says:

    “Last month the Times announced that it would offer buyout packages to thirty non-union newsroom managers to cut costs.”
    However, Baquet said that the decision to cut the environmental desk has nothing to do with budgetary concerns and so no one is expected to lose their job.”

    could these two sentences be more contradictory?
    typical Gray Crone reporting

    gay fracking—oh Jack, too funny

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