Newsrooms in revolt, bosses in country houses

Tomorrow's Business

Newsrooms in revolt, bosses in country houses

There’s an excellent, wonderfully sarcastic piece in today’s New York Times about the gap between the sacrifices made by media staff and the lives lived by their bosses.

It is headlined: Newsrooms are in revolt. The bosses are in their country houses.

It begins with the lament that since golf caddies are not presently at work, media moguls on Long Island have to pull their own clubs around, “which is just the kind of sacrifice that the coronavirus has brought to East Hampton”. Nice.

The paper notes that while New York’s media business “appears to be in endless decline”, it is still the stage for cultural conflict.

Top figures at the NYT, ABC News and others have been forced to resign for missing not just the public mood, but the mood of their own staff.

The departures were driven by employees who believe the media groups “internal cultures don’t mirror the progressive and anti-racist values they sell”.

This is a revolution in the way the media business operates I think. Top editors don’t typically get held to account when things go wrong (they blame the reporters).

And until recently, rowdy opinions that departed from a newspaper’s actual view of the world were all part of the fun. Freedom of speech topped other concerns – certainly the desire of staff or indeed readers not to be offended.

That’s plainly changing and it is one for bosses to watch.

Editors? Held to account? I never thought I’d see the day…

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