The Washington Post

Abramson and the digitial New York Times: a suggestion

Ken Auletta’s killer profile of new New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson notes that she’ll be attacking the digital side of the news operation.

Some people in the newsroom believe that Abramson’s digital knowledge remains skimpy. But, broadly speaking, she knows that the Web is vital to the Times’ future, and she wants Web people working alongside print people in each section of the newsroom. The page-one meetings now feature the home page of on a large overhead screen, and editors decide what stories to post immediately.

Okay, so those are serious digital imperatives.

Allow me to add one to the very bottom of the list. This to-do item results from something I encountered when trying to reach a New York Times freelance writer last Friday when working on this story.

I called the New York Times’ main switchboard and asked for the writer. Then I got this voice recording:

The writer about whom you are inquiring is a freelance contributing writer and not a staff member at the New York Times. If you wish to contact a freelance contributor, you may do so by writing to that person. Address the envelope with the writer’s name, and newspaper section in which the article appeared, care of The New York Times, 620 8th Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. You may press any key to repeat this information. Thank you for calling the New York Times.

Could we get an e-mail address, Ms. Abramson?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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