Highlights from Poynter’s Jill Abramson archive
Jill Abramson's time at the head of The New York Times ended on Wednesday. Here are some of the ways Poynter has covered her:
June 2011: Abramson to succeed Keller as NYT executive editor
Bill Keller is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the Times, while managing editor Jill Abramson moves up to executive editor on Sept. 6. Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet will be her managing editor. “Jill and Dean together is a powerful team,” says Keller. “Jill’s been my partner in keeping The Times strong through years of tumult. At her right hand she will have someone who ran a great American newspaper, and ran it through tough times. That’s a valuable skill to have.”
In the Spring 2010 issue of Daedalus, The New York Times’ Jill Abramson wrote about sustaining quality journalism during challenging times. As she becomes executive editor of the paper of record, her beliefs about the future of news may foreshadow the direction taken by the New York Times.
Many journalists learned on Twitter that The New York Times’ new executive editor would be Jill Abramson (ironic, since former executive editor Bill Keller provoked much discussion there with his #twittermakesyoustupid reflections), and many Times’ staff and readers reacted to the paper’s change of leadership with related tweets today.
After hearing that Jill Abramson was named editor of The New York Times, columnist Gail Collins couldn’t help but think about how much has changed since the early 1970s, when female journalists were still widely discriminated against at the Times.
Plenty of women who are — or used to be — in journalism are cheering for Jill Abramson. They see her ascendance to leadership of The New York Times as a victory, both real and symbolic. In real terms, her promotion to executive editor makes history; she’s the first woman to run the paper. Symbolically, it’s a big victory in the face of a big void.
Lisa Belkin, author of the Times’ parenting blog, The Motherlode, wasn’t in the newsroom Thursday morning for the announcement that Jill Abramson would become the new executive editor of The New York Times. “It was emotional and wonderful and one of the really great Times moments and I’m sorry I missed it,” she said.
Nat Ives asks that of Jill Abramson. “It’s not important in the news report itself,” says the Times’ next executive editor. “It obviously is an important breakthrough, just from my inbox, that has made a lot of my women colleagues very happy. It’s meaningful to them. But I’ve also gotten fantastic notes from my male colleagues.”
When Jill Abramson becomes The New York Times’ first female executive editor in September, she takes over a more diverse staff than the average U.S. newsroom. Minority journalists make up about 19 percent of the Times’ staff, compared to about 13 percent in the average U.S. newsroom. I asked Abramson today by phone why a diverse staff matters. She responded:
"I think it’s important because of the world that we cover, which is a diverse one and if you have a staff of reporters and editors and Web producers and other professionals who come from the same exact background you’re going to miss some important aspects of stories. And people have a diverse way of approaching their reporting, and I think that when you have a diverse staff you get a diverse reaction to news developments and angles on things that have happened that you might not have thought of otherwise."
“I haven’t felt the need until now” to set up a Twitter account, says Jill Abramson. “I’m an interior kind of person.” The next New York Times executive editor tells Ed Pilkington that she has an iPad and loves the Huffington Post’s app. (“It’s really jazzy.”)
September 2011:Abramson era begins at New York Times
Today is Jill Abramson’s first day as New York Times executive editor. Named as Bill Keller’s successor in June, Abramson “must make hard decisions about how to position [the Times] to ensure its survival, a challenge that has many worrying about the future of journalism,” says the Harvard Crimson.
“This is a start, explaining some changed roles,” Jill Abramson writes on her first day as Times executive editor. “Some leaders will continue in the same roles, because they’ve made themselves irreplaceable, at least to
us rookies in our first year. Others are considering special assignments that we deem critical for Year One.
Former New York Times Magazine editor Gerry Marzorati and former metro editor Susan Edgerley lost their title of assistant managing editor and have been given new tasks, reports John Koblin.
At a meet and greet for media reporters, new New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson spoke with Jon Friedman about her experience on Twitter:
“I don’t keep up with Twitter all day long. I am just a beginner. My kids tell me how terrible my Tweets are. They give me a Twitter (grade of) F.”
Abramson says she often reads the Times on her iPad app in the early morning and described herself as a “culture vulture” and a “political junkie.” When asked “What do you worry about?” the paper’s first female editor had this to say:
When New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane asked Executive Editor Jill Abramson whether the public will see a change now that a woman is running the Times, Abramson said: “The idea that women journalists bring a different taste in stories or sensibility isn’t true.” The statement has stirred debate among some female journalists who say that women do have different perspectives and experiences that shape the way they approach coverage.
C-SPAN has posted 57 seconds of Brian Lamb’s interview with Jill Abramson, which will air on Oct. 30. The New York Times executive editor is asked: What’s the one thing you’d change at the paper. Keach Hagey transcribes her response:
"I don’t want every story to be 1,800 words. I think in general, we have a lot of long stories that need to be long, things like Amy Harmon’s profile of a young adult with autism, which you know was very very long, but worth every word. There is a certain lack of discipline sometimes."
Ken Auletta’s thorough profile of New York Times’ current executive editor Jill Abramson includes a deep look back at her relationship with former executive editor Howell Raines.
After Raines’ ouster, Abramson became managing editor under Bill Keller, whose resignation this summer led to her appointment as the newsroom’s leader. Also considered for the top position were Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, editor of the Boston Globe. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., tells Auletta why he chose Abramson
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is No. 24 on Forbes’ new list of the 70 most powerful people in the world. New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson is No. 64. The blurb for Abramson reads, “Bloggers come, bloggers go, but the Gray Lady, run for the first time by a lady, still sets the terms of the global debate.”
Dylan Byers’ big “Turbulence at The Times” story, about the news organization under Executive Editor Jill Abramson’s leadership, has the look and feel of world-beating Politico scoop.
It mixes anonymously voiced insider accounts with a few protesting on-the-record sources to paint a picture of a newsroom so buffeted by personality conflicts that it just barely won four Pulitzer Prizes and calmly and accurately guided readers through the Boston bombings.
The festering conflict at the heart of all this triumph? Executive Editor Jill Abramson.
Politico’s Dylan Byers wrote a story that posits New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson is “already on the verge of losing the support of the newsroom.” I didn’t like it.
Here are some other reactions:
• Emily Bell says Byers’ piece “deserves attention, as it fuels an exasperating and wholly sexist narrative about women in power.”
New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson pooh-poohs Politico’s “scooplets” (“interesting in the moment but somewhat evanescent in their importance”) and praises some of its staff (“I think they have some excellent reporters”).
October 2013:Jill Abramson: Politico piece was ‘shoddy,’ ‘nutty’
In the keynote talk at the Journalism & Women Symposium’s Conference and Mentoring Project in Essex, Vt., Saturday, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson talked about the reaction of women journalists to an April Politico piece that said she was “on the verge of losing the support of the newsroom.”
“It was thrilling,” Abramson said about the people who came to her defense, “like a prairie fire among, like, other women journalists who just, like, saw this thing as, like, a shoddy, sexist, you know, ad feminem attack on me.”
New York Times senior editor and director of video content development Rick Berke will become the executive editor of Politico, Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris told staff Thursday. “This is really great news for POLITICO,” Harris writes.
“Rick Berke is one of the most distinguished political journalists of our time,” New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement emailed to Poynter by a Times spokesperson. “He is also a great friend and we have worked closely together since 1997. We have also competed against each other as reporters and I look forward to competing against him again. Politico is lucky to have him as executive editor.”
Jill Abramson “is unexpectedly leaving the position” as executive editor of The New York Times, the Times announced Wednesday. Dean Baquet will be the new executive editor, Ravi Somaiya reports. “The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear,” Somaiya reports. Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. attributed the change to “an issue with management in the newsroom,” Somaiya wrote on Twitter. Abramson will not stay on at the paper in any capacity, a Times spokesperson tells Poynter in an email. Abramson “was abruptly fired from the paper on Wednesday,” Dylan Byers reports in Politico.