Well before Trump ran for president, the New York Times was making overtures to critics to improve their tattered reputation. They added a public editor in 2003 who would be a conduit of sorts between readers and reporters. This was in the aftermath of the Jayson Blair scandal and also at a time when more people were pointing out how it was becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the op/ed departments and the various news divisions (local, national, international, etc).
But in mid-2017, they eliminated the position. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. justified it at the time by saying the situation had become outdated and that social media users had effectively become their “watchdogs” instead:
Mr. Sulzberger, in a newsroom memo, said the public editor’s role had become outdated.
“Our followers on social media and our readers across the internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be,” he wrote. “Our responsibility is to empower all of those watchdogs, and to listen to them, rather than to channel their voice through a single office.”
Four years later, and the Twitterization of the New York Times newsroom and its emphasis on catering to “woke” reporters and left-wing social media mobs with an angle to push has proved disastrous, as we’ve documented here on many occasions.
With all of that in mind, you would think that the paper would maybe put on some pretense of trying to make sure the various opinions that get churned out on the op/ed side do not bleed over to the straight news side.
But that’s not happening at all. Instead, the paper is now actively seeking a director of opinion strategy, where one of the key responsibilities will be “connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company”:
Your job, in brief, will be to:
-Collaborate with The Times’s Opinion Editor, Managing Editor and the wider Opinion leadership team in setting and executing coverage targets and operational strategy
-Help Opinion leaders shape and implement our priorities, goals and plans
-Serve as one of the key conduits connecting and ensuring alignment between efforts in Opinion and around the wider newsroom and company
-Partner closely with Opinion leadership, audience, design, video, audio, newsroom leadership and technology teams to develop and execute on the vision, strategy, and product roadmap for Opinion
-Partner with the Audience team to conduct and present analytics deep dives aimed at helping broaden the audience of Times Opinion
-As a member of the broader Newsroom Strategy and company Strategy & Development team, participate in a wide range of projects in News and across the company
The ad was the equivalent of the New York Times saying the quiet part out loud about the direction in which they were determined to go.