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Thread: New York Times union wants ‘sensitivity reads’ as part of editorial process

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    New York Times union wants ‘sensitivity reads’ as part of editorial process


    New York Times union wants ‘sensitivity reads’ as part of editorial process
    By Tamar Lapin July 31, 2020 | 10:39pm

    A union representing some 1,200 New York Times employees is urging that articles be subjected to “sensitivity reads.”

    The News Guild of New York said its reps recommended the extra layer of vetting during a meeting with the Grey Lady’s leadership earlier this month over how to make the paper “more diverse and equitable.”

    The meeting came in response to a newsroom uproar over Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s controversial op-ed.

    “Diversity, inclusion and equity is not a static goal. It is an ongoing commitment that must be implemented in every facet of the company,” the Guild wrote in a memo.

    The suggestions include diversifying the paper’s workforce, annually publishing data that includes information on demographics in hiring, promotion, and retention and investing in mentorship programs for people of color.

    But one proposal raised some eyebrows on social media.

    “Get it right from the beginning: sensitivity reads should happen at the beginning of the publication process, with compensation for those who do them,” the union wrote on Twitter.

    It added in the memo: “Planning of sensitivity reads​ at the start of the editorial process, not at the end.”

    “Someone who is asked to spend more than 15 minutes performing this task should receive compensation, mirroring the existing policy for translation fees.”

    Cotton, of Arkansas, — whose op-ed calling for military intervention to crack down on protests sparked an uprising of Times staffers and the ouster of editorial page editor James Bennet — chided the guild for its recommendation.

    “‘Sensitivity reads’ for op-eds? And extra compensation for censoring?” Cotton asked.
    Sensitivity readers don't make sense in any context but particularly not in newspapers. If it's "news" then the facts speak for themselves, good or bad. If it's "opinion" then it is whatever it is. The reader can decide if he or she agrees or not and why.

    Sensitivity readers are killing young adult and genre fiction. You have to seek out the publishers that don't demand it and the writers who never use it to find anything worth reading. Fiction is about imagination and speculation, not mirror-like representations of narrow subjective views on race, sexual activity, age, region, or anything else. Here again, readers (who buy books) can decide for themselves if a work is valuable or entertaining or not.

    NY Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Sensitivity readers don't make sense in any context but particularly not in newspapers. If it's "news" then the facts speak for themselves, good or bad. If it's "opinion" then it is whatever it is. The reader can decide if he or she agrees or not and why.

    Sensitivity readers are killing young adult and genre fiction. You have to seek out the publishers that don't demand it and the writers who never use it to find anything worth reading. Fiction is about imagination and speculation, not mirror-like representations of narrow subjective views on race, sexual activity, age, region, or anything else. Here again, readers (who buy books) can decide for themselves if a work is valuable or entertaining or not.

    NY Post
    "Buried by the Times is a 2005 book by Laurel Leff.

    The book is a critical account of The New York Times's coverage of Nazi atrocities against Jews that culminated in the Holocaust. It argues that the news was often buried in the back pages in part due to the view about Judaism of the paper's Jewish publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. It also gives a critical look at the work of Times correspondents in Europe." - wiki
    When the New Deal was established it exempted agricultural and domestic workers. A clothing boxer earned $10/week minimum and a cleaning woman or laundress full time was $2/wk. This brief time is our cultural memory of a more genteel middle class.

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