New editors at the New York Times named: will they save news?

New York Times

Yesterday, the New York Times announced Jill Abramson would replace Bill Keller as executive editor of the paper, while former Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet would step into the role of managing editor. Though the shake-up is particularly notable because Abramson will take the helm as the first female executive editor of the Times, the changing leadership may also indicate a reinvigorated commitment by the Times to save news by reenforcing the paper’s digital presence.

Before being named executive editor, Abramson — the paper’s managing editor for news — had been asked to help with the digital operations at the Times. At the time, Keller told the Times, “It’s a radical idea in the sense that no managing editor has ever said, ‘O.K., I’m going to step aside from my job and do this other thing. … Jill came up with the idea that one of us — i.e., her — should do a full immersion.” Abramson’s dedication to digital news is a departure from Keller’s apparent fear of the internet. Maybe Abramson’s web-savviness will inspire her to use her yet-uncreated Twitter account to tweet more than @nytkeller’s 28 tweets.

And the decision to name Baquet managing editor could also be an attempt to save news. In 2006, Baquet left his post as editor of the Los Angeles Times because he refused to cut jobs at the paper despite orders from those always-virtuous corporate leaders above him at Tribune Co. His loyalty to his staff is a good sign, although when he resigned, the announcement was reported by the Wall Street Journal and leaked on L.A. Observed, a Los Angeles media blog, before he could address his staff. Let’s just hope the web doesn’t beat him again.

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