NYT closes its environment desk, reassigns journalists

InsideClimate News | The Daily Climate

The nine journalists on The New York Times' environment desk learned Wednesday they will be reassigned, Katherine Bagley reports. "No decision has been made about the fate of the Green Blog, which is edited from the environment desk," Bagley writes. Managing Editor for news operations Dean Baquet told Bagley the move was "wasn't a decision we made lightly." The "structural matter" was not related to budget, he said.

Baquet said the change "was prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting," Bagley writes.

When the desk was created in early 2009, the environmental beat was largely seen as "singular and isolated," he said. It was pre-fracking and pre-economic collapse. But today, environmental stories are "partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects," Baquet said. "They are more complex. We need to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story."

The Daily Climate's Douglas Fischer reported Jan. 2 that in 2012 the Times "published the most stories on climate change and had the biggest increase in coverage among the five largest U.S. daily papers"; Times Assistant Managing Editor Glenn Kramon "attributed last year's uptick in the paper's coverage to the fruition of a 4-year-old effort to group top reporters on a separate environment desk," Fischer writes.

Updates: New York Times' Dot Earth blog responds to decision | Public Editor Margaret Sullivan responds

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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