Let someone like The New York Times‘ Dean Baquet tell it, the night of November 8, 2016 marked a momentous opportunity in many journalism veterans’ careers. As Vanity Fair‘s Joe Pompeo writes in a recent piece dissecting the “woke civil war” taking place at the Times, “Trump’s election was the kind of Earth-shattering event that only comes around once or twice.” For much of the younger generation of news tellers, however, the bizarre materialization of Trump’s presidency felt like a wind-knocking punch to the chest.
“I just remember younger people with sad faces,” a source told Pompeo, who also notes that this sort of generational divide has not been seen since the Civil Rights era. According to Pompeo’s source, Baquet was surprised there wasn’t more enthusiasm among younger employees. “He’s thinking, We’ve got a great story on our hands,” they continued. “That was the first indication that a unified newsroom in the age of Trump was going to be a very difficult thing to achieve or maintain.”
Add the #MeToo movement and the Times‘ handling of the Glenn Thrush allegations, or its addition of conservative op-ed writers Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, or the way in which—as much of social media has discussed—the publication has humanized violent white men, and you have yourself a recipe for grief and conflict among employees with contrasting political views.
Joe Kahn, managing editor for the Times, believes “journalism is not about creating safe spaces,” but what does this mean for a crop of writers working just as hard to hold themselves together during a trying news cycle as they do to perform their jobs? “I know a lot of others at the paper with similar positions to mine, especially women and people of color, who feel that senior staff isn’t receptive to their concerns,” Pompeo’s source stated.
Read more at Vanity Fair.
In Other Media News:
- The Cut and Jasmyn Lawson are exploring what it means to be a visible woman online.
- New York mag gave the president a pig nose for ‘501 Days in Swampland.’
- A teacher in France is showing students how to spot fake news.
Media Studies is CASSIUS’ weekly look at news, moves, and mess-ups in the wild world we call “The Industry.” Got a tip? Email Stephanie Long: slong(at)ionedigital(dot)com.