Jill Abramson out at New York Times, Dean Baquet will lead newsroom

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 became the Times’ executive editor in 2011. She is five years away from being 65, the age at which Times executive editors traditionally must retire. On Monday Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan noted that under Abramson, “not only is the top editor a woman – the first — but many department heads and section editors are, too.” Baquet will be newspaper’s first African American top editor. Abramson in 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) Here’s the Times Co. press release. Here’s Sulzberger’s memo to staff:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to announce a leadership change in the newsroom. Effective today, Dean Baquet will become our new executive editor, succeeding Jill Abramson.

This appointment comes at a time when the newsroom is about to embark on a significant effort to transition more fully to a digital-first reality and where, across the organization, we are all learning to adapt to the rapid pace of change in our business.

We owe Jill an enormous debt of gratitude for positioning the newsroom to succeed on both of these critical counts and of course, for preserving and extending the level of our journalistic excellence and innovation. She’s laid a great foundation on which I fully expect Dean and his colleagues will build.

As those of you who know Dean will understand, he is uniquely suited to this role. He is a proven manager, both here at The Times and elsewhere. He is also a consummate journalist whose reputation as a fierce advocate for his reporters and editors is well-deserved. And importantly, he is an enthusiastic supporter of our push toward further creativity in how we approach the digital expression of our journalism.

I know you will join me, Mark and the rest of the senior leadership team in wishing Jill the best and congratulating Dean on his appointment.


Gawker bans ‘Internet Slang’

"We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters," new Gawker Editor Max Read says in a memo to the publication’s writers. Words like "epic," "pwn" and "derp" are no longer welcome on the site. Read also says the word "massive" is "never to appear on the website Gawker dot com."

He also asks staffers not to use strikethrough for corrections, preferring they “change the wording and link from there to a comment noting the corrected text.” He singles out a correction by J.K. Trotter that was done in “the proper spirit and is funny to boot.”

Full memo:

I meant to send this out on Monday but forgot. These are my exclamation points.


• Strikethroughs. No more strikethrough tag. It’s HTML styling, and it gets stripped in Google searches, RSS, tweets, through copy-pastes, etc., completely fucking up our meaning, especially in headlines (e.g.: http://gawker.com/5974190/here-is-a-list-of-all-the-assholes-who-own-guns-in-new-york-city)

For corrections, rather than strikethrough, change the wording and link from there to a comment noting the corrected text, as Tom does here: http://gawker.com/thanks-ill-correct-it-and-link-down-to-this-correctio-1554296985.

(While we’re at it I want to note Keenan’s correction here, which is done is the proper spirit and is funny to boot: http://gawker.com/david-brooks-may-not-have-gotten-divorced-after-all-1555282728)

We should strive to make our writing clear and precise even absent any text formatting.

Jokes made using strikethrough are generally not worth saving.

• Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.

• The word “massive.” Is never to appear on the website Gawker dot com. Here’s a handy list of synonyms for your headline toolkit:

> huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal, tremendous, prodigious, gigantic, gargantuan, mammoth, monstrous, monumental, giant, towering, elephantine, mountainous, titanic; Herculean, Brobdingnagian; monster, jumbo, mega, whopping, humongous, hulking, honking, bumper, astronomical, ginormous

Keep reading Roy Peter Clark’s story to find out how you can show signs of listening, rather than the bad habits he has laid out above.


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The winners of four 2013 Pulitzer Prizes came together Tuesday night at Poynter to talk about their work and their wins. They came from Florida, New York and a shop with people scattered around the country, from three large papers and one nonprofit news site. They won for work on speeding cops,diluted bitumenfluoride in the water and cross-border corruption at Wal-Mart.

Other than that Pulitzer, the work of the seven people present Tuesday night didn’t have much in common.

But, for most, the processes they used to produce their work did.

(story continues)

Keep reading Kristen Hare’s story to find out what the winners had in common and how you can apply their processes to your work in the newsroom.


Some may find this hard to believe, but there are people — even some from these United States — who are completely indifferent to sports.

Although 112.2 million viewed Super Bowl XLVIII, according to Dan Bell of Fox Sports, that still means upwards of 201 million people across America were spending their Sunday afternoon doing something else, something that in all likelihood didn’t involve a sporting event.

That said, it’s clear that sports — along with extreme weather, celebrity news and political scandal — has not only grown in coverage nationally and locally, it now regularly breaks into general news and grabs the lead spots on front pages and homepages.

(story continues)

Keep reading Steve Lepore’s article on Poynter.org.


What can LinkedIn do for your career other than show people your work history?

Tune in to our live chat with LinkedIn Corporate Communication Manager Yumi Wilson at 3 p.m. ET today to find out. 

We’ll be covering many strategies so make sure you open one window for Poynter.org and another for your LinkedIn profile page.

Twitter users can also send us questions with the hashtag #poynterchat.


Join us now for a live chat on what happens when a journalism career breaks with Warren Watson from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. 

Twitter users can send us questions using the hashtag #poynterchat.