Abramson tells Poynter: Completing digital transition ‘is probably the most important challenge that I face’

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 also asked Abramson about her goals for the next year. She said:

My goals are to keep the news report as strong and as vibrant as it has been, to try to move ahead with our plan to integrate all aspects of our newsroom, print and digital. I think that I get to lead the Times in a both thrilling and challenging period when we’re making a transition from a world dominated by print and we’re moving to a world that’s dominated by news that comes digitally. And completing that transition, I think, is probably the most important challenge that I face.

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  • Anonymous

    Ms. Abramson is quoted as saying: “And completing that transition, I
    think, is probably the most important challenge that I face.”

    Like it or not, the “transition” will never be complete.  We are in a
    unique world where the dynamic aspects of the Digital Age will never be
    stable, at least not during the lifetime of anyone reading this.  This
    era requires constant teaching and learning for all journalists and
    journalism institutions, something the industry as a whole is yet to
    grasp.  I admire the NYT for all that it has accomplished thus far, but hope that it/they will be able to keep on moving ahead even though there is no obvious finish line, no “completed” race

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Abramson is quoted as saying: “And completing that transition, I think, is probably the most important challenge that I face.”

    Like it or not, the “transition” will never be complete.  We are in a unique world where the dynamic aspects of the Digital Age will never be stable, at least not during the lifetime of anyone reading this.  This era requires constant teaching and learning for all journalists and journalism institutions, something the industry as a whole is yet to grasp.  I admire the NYT for all that it has accomplished thus far, but hope that it/they will be able to keep on moving ahead even though there is no obvious finish line, no “completed” race.