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Drudge Report focuses on NYT: Abramson, equal pay war and digital journalism

The Drudge Report spotlights NYT's hypocrisy in equal pay and panic over digital failures
The Drudge Report spotlights NYT's hypocrisy in equal pay and panic over digital failures
Evan Agostina/ Common use, Drudge Screenprint

The Drudge Report is throwing the full weight of a continuing banner focus on the changes at the New York Times (NYT). It began late on Wednesday with the announcement that female executive editor, Jill Abramson, was no longer employed at the NYT. The headline read, "NYT Jill Out."

A hyperlink headline suggested the reason for Jill's departure was "an issue with management in the newsroom." Hardly an hour had passed before the both the image of Abramson and the headline had changed to assert that Abramson had been fired from a publication which had recently supported equal pay for women, because she had asked for "equal pay." Pushing for equal pay for women is fast becoming a liberal election issue.

Matt Drudge then popped over to his Twitter page to mention that the firing of Jill Abramson because she questioned pay equality was an example of the 'left eating their own.' He included a photo of Abramson plus he added another tweet, "LESSONS FROM JILL[caps included]: Real power only comes from owning the media you're in." Drudge's point was quickly absorbed, that he owned his media and had complete control of the Drudge Report while Abramson was subject to the whims of her employer.

The last banner and headline remained as Drudge Report readers went to bed and awakened the next morning, with only one change. The word "War" was added, emphasizing the outrage this news might cause in the world of journalism among those who were advocates for equal pay.

Finally Drudge dropped Abramson to feature the Clintons for a brief flash. In less than an hour, the Clintons were bumped for even more startling news for journalism, both print and online. The headline now shouts, "NYT shock memo: 'Our journalism advantage shrinking.'

Following that hyperlink, one discovers a lengthy inner NYT document on Buzz Feed, obviously anonymously leaked, revealing that the publication is urgently seeking a way to compete digitally. Particularly troubling to management was the discover that all too oftenlesser online "upstarts" could capitalize online print articles actually written by the NYT's than the NYT.

According to the document, currently the newspaper's digital output is being created from print when it possibly should be that, first, the newspaper "should create content for a digital report and then use the best work from that effort to put out a print edition." The document stresses the newspaper must find a way to make the transition into a leading digital publication in order to survive.

In the meantime the NYT worries that successful online news sources such as Buzz Feed are not only "upstarts" who are capitalizing on the NYT and others, but that these sites also have a head start. Bottom line for the NYT is that failure to embrace the age of digital news delivery has cost them more than merely readership. In addition, valuable journalism talents have moved on to other venues with more digital savvy.

Although the Drudge Report went unmentioned in the document, Matt Drudge is one of the "upstarts" who has found and dominates his online niche, that of news aggregation. Drudge made the prediction that NYT was set to lose another talent, perhaps as a result of the "equal pay," conflict. Drudge wrote, "Prediction: Maureen Dowd jumps to Vanity Fair or Vogue."

One of Drudge's Twitter followers wondered what song might best represent the uproar at the NYT represented on the Drudge Report. No one suggested Dylan's, "The 'Times,' they are a changing."