‘This sign wsa not edited’: New York Times employees stage temporary walkout to protest copy desk staff reduction

June 29, 2017
Category: Business & Work

Hundreds of journalists at The New York Times got up from their desks Thursday afternoon, grabbed a few signs and marched to the ground floor of the newspaper’s headquarters on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.

“Top managers sat stone-faced at desks as staffers gathered about them and then walked out via the stairways,” a source at The Times told Poynter.

The 15-minute planned walkout was in protest of top editors’ decision to restructure the copy desk at the newspaper of record, which would cut or redistribute up to 50 editing jobs. About two dozen editors sent a letter to Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn on Wednesday afternoon expressing their outrage over the cuts and requesting they rethink the move.

“You often speak about the importance of engaging readers, of valuing, investing in and giving a voice to readers. Dean and Joe: We are your readers, and you have turned your backs on us,” the letter reads.

In response, Baquet and Kahn issued a letter Wednesday evening defending their decision to make the cuts and emphasizing a commitment to copy editing. Nevertheless, Times reporters sent their own letter to the top editors Thursday morning expressing solidarity with the copy desk and their intentions to take a “collective coffee break” Thursday afternoon.

Here is a Storify of tweets from Times journalists at the walkout:

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Dean Baquet’s name. An earlier version of this story estimated the crowd size at dozens. We have revised that estimate to hundreds based on eyewitness testimony from two sources.