Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, discussed the publication’s immutable values and long history of quality journalism. By focusing on the ‘show, don’t tell’ method of journalism, she promotes the Times as a constant reliable news source against the backdrop of a changing media market. Integration of online and print media, according to Abramson, is an important component to keep up with the industry’s transformation, and publications must now focus on providing content across different platforms and increasing digital subscription sales. She also claims competitors come in many forms, even including the reader through social media.
“The values of the New York Times are immutable.” - Jill Abramson
“Your readers are competitors in some ways because they’re out tweeting and collecting facts and, you know, a lot of times they’re onto a nugget that’s really useful. So, you name it and it’s a competitor.” - Jill Abramson
- The New York Times has historically prided itself on quality journalism, and good quality is still in demand. It now includes the most innovative, cutting edge journalism there is.
- The ’show, don’t tell’ model of journalism, as practiced by the Times, means going behind the news, taking readers by the hand and explaining with facts, not opinion, why something happened.
- Digital subscriptions must provide content worth paying for. Abramson said that by providing high quality, subscription sales will undoubtedly follow.
Executive Editor of the most prominent newspaper in the world, The New York Times, Jill Abramson gives INMA viewers inside details on what's going on behind the scenes and a sneak peak of its future.
Jill Abramson is the executive editor of The New York Times, the newsroom's highest ranking position, which she assumed in 2011. Prior to her current role at The Times, Abramson was the managing editor of the publication from 2003 to 2011. She joined The New York Times in 1997 and served as the Washington bureau chief from 2000 to 2003. Before joining The Times, Abramson worked at The Wall Street Journal from 1988 to 1997. While there, she served as the deputy bureau chief in its D.C. bureau and investigative reporter.
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, sat down in front of the World Congress Monday to answer questions about the editorial experience “Snow Fall,” hiring, and competition in the media.
She discussed the importance of “show-not-tell” journalism for the audience of The New York Times. She suggested media go behind the news, take the readers by the hand and explain with facts why something happened with vivid detail and narrative drive.
“The news and what happened [are] only a small part of any story,” Abramson said.
As a testament to The New York Times’ ability to create visual journalism, Abramson showed a video describing the making of “Snow Fall,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning multi-media piece created by the company in 2012.
The piece is an in-depth report on a group of skiers who died in an avalanche and includes videos that are queued upon scrolling to a certain point of the Web page, photos that pop up when scrolling over certain details, maps and graphics.
It has gained an incredible amount of attention as what some call the future of journalism.
“Snow Fall,” which has become a verb in media, isn’t the only form of the future, she said: “I don’t think I’m yet ready to declare: this is the future.”
The average age of a reporter at the Times is 40 to 50, and that the company is able to recruit the absolute best in every field, Abramson said.
When asked who The New York Times’ major competitors are, Abramson responded not only other news sources, but also subscribers.
“Your readers are competitors in some ways because they’re out tweeting and collecting facts and, you know, a lot of times they’re onto a nugget that’s really useful,” she said.
With competition from professionals and amateurs, The New York Times stays at the top because of the need for good journalism. Good quality is still in demand, Abramson said, and it includes the most innovative cutting edge journalism available.
“You’ve got to have journalism that’s worth paying for.”