Ashley Feinberg has a write up of a behind-the-scenes meeting run by the guy in charge of the New York Times editorial page. Additionally, you can read a transcript of the meeting. And one of the questions was why aren't there any voices representing the Bernie wing, and the response is unintelligible and ultimately ends with a cry for help, as if finding such people is an impossibility.
NYT employee: It's a follow-up to something kind of earlier. You identified that you're having trouble finding new voices, and that a lot of the problems you've identified seem to be that we just don't have people representing certain positions. During the election you had no strong advocate for [Sen.] Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.], or any of those positions. And so I guess, in the more recent months, in your attempts to find those voices, where have you been looking, what types of people have you been looking for, and how are you trying to get a more diverse group of people regularly writing in the op-ed section?
Bennet: I think we need, and you know, I'm sorry if I'm going to talk in code a little bit here, but I'm not talking about ideology necessarily. I'm talking about identity, as well. What columnists do, you know, again, highly intellectually honest, highly entertaining, highly interesting writers who have a lot to say -- hard to find those people from the get-go. What a columnist is is a trusted voice in your ear that helps you process, kind of, the world in real time, right? Through a particular lens. And there are a number of lenses we're missing right now, I think. And a lot of those are, it's gender and it's identity, you know, as well as ideology.
So where am I looking? I'm asking, I'm asking you guys. You know, send me names, please. You know, if there are people that you're reading that you think belong in The New York Times. You know, please. I always, when I was at The Atlantic, I always kept a list of Atlantic writers who didn't work for The Atlantic, just who felt like -- I was at The Atlantic magazine before I came back to the Times, and there was a particular kind of, not that dissimilar from the kind of people we're looking for now, with voice. And I could see them on other platforms and they just didn't know that they were Atlantic people yet, but they were. And I don't have as good a list now as I did then. It might be my own failing. Earlier I blamed the environment for that. But I'm taking nominations.
I've been... if I could, this is what I would be spending 90 percent of my time on. Because hiring in general, and I'm sure you guys feel this, too, is the most important thing that we do. Like, that's the most important editing we do, is picking the people. After that, you know, you ideally cut them loose to do their thing. In reality, I'm spending a small percentage of my time on this. So I would love help. So please send your nominations my way.
By the way, this was in December, so if he did get such nominations, he hasn't acted on them yet.