In Sunday’s New York Times, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan interviewed the newspaper’s executive director, Jill Abramson, about the year to come. Some of what she had to say surely rings a bell with those of us in much less lush corner offices.
For one thing, the newspaper is interested in tweaking its magazine. That sounds familiar to those of us at the Review, just as I’m sure it does at the Argus-Observer, the Capital Journal and other Wick newspapers. She is also seeking to add diversity to the masthead. She is herself the first woman to hold the position and has helped women advance elsewhere in the paper.
There was one thing in particular that she said, just a short motto of sorts, that I want to adopt as my own for the coming year. From Sullivan’s column:
When I asked Ms. Abramson what stamp she wants to put on The Times during her editorship, she answered succinctly and with no hesitation: “Journalism of depth, creativity and purpose that is found only in The New York Times.” …
I think it’s a brilliant distillation of why we are all in newspapers. It’s easy to forget that in the rush of human events – difficult deadlines, unfriendly readers and impossible expectations nearly every day.
I plan on cutting it out and taping it somewhere near my line of sight in the office. I’m shooting for depth, creativity and purpose in a package available only to our readers. I won’t always achieve that standard, I know. But newspapers are aspirational. Every day is another opportunity to give it another shot.