The NY Occasions says it wants a tradition change and higher inclusion
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Times says it takes a culture shift to become a better place to …
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Times says it takes a culture shift to become a better place to work, especially for people with color.
The newspaper told employees in a report Wednesday that it would take steps to be more inclusive and welcoming, saying that studying workplace culture was a “call to action.”
Like many news organizations, the Times looked inward after a national race reckoning sparked by the Minneapolis police force’s death of George Floyd last spring. Many employees were annoyed by a statement in the Times by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton titled “Send in the Troops” as an option to tackle race riots.
More recently, the Times veteran science correspondent Donald McNeil Jr. left the paper after it was reported that he used a racist slur on a Times-sponsored trip to Peru for students in 2019.
In its report, the Times pledged to increase the percentage of blacks and Latinos in leadership positions from 9% to 13.5% within five years. Dean Baquet, Editor-in-Chief of The Times since 2014, is Black.
The report also states that a workplace culture that celebrates individual achievement and often relies on “unwritten rules” for advancement can be uncomfortable for many, but especially for people of color.
“What it came out was the consistency of experience,” said Carolyn Ryan, assistant editor-in-chief and one of three authors on the report. “It was our culture, that kind of ‘sink or swim’ ethos.”
In fact, leading people is often viewed as a secondary part of a times manager’s role, the report said. Several steps were outlined to clarify expectations, keep lines of communication open, and identify ways for progress.
A survey of employees wasn’t all bad news. 95% of the Times employees said they were proud of what they did in the newspaper, and most had positive experiences.
It was also found that 48% of the Times’ new hires last year were people of color, the newspaper said. The total share of non-white employees has risen from 27% in 2015 to 34% now. The majority of employees and managers are women.
However, the report found that while the Times built a more diverse workforce, it was less focused on promoting an inclusive culture.
Implementing the plan will require the largest investment the Times has ever made in terms of time, money and energy, according to Verlage AG Sulzberger, managing director Meredith Kopit Levien and Baquet in an introduction to the report.
“We believe the changes in this plan will strengthen our journalism, our business and our company,” they wrote. “We also believe this will make the Times a better place to work for all of us.”
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