NY Times Guild ridiculed after requests for ‘sensitivity reads’ and a 50% colored workforce

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The New York Times Guild is being mocked over a request that editors conduct “sensitivity reads” over stories before they are published.

The request comes as part of a broader push by the papers’ unionized journalists to increase ‘diversity’ in hiring and other practices.

The guild acknowledged that journalists met with Times’ editorial management last month in which the said the paper should engage in “a top-to-bottom resetting of priorities to improve the working conditions of our colleagues of color,” Fox News reported.

In addition, the union is pushing for the Times’ workforce to be comprised of 24 percent black employees and more than 50 percent persons of color by 2025, apparently to reflect the demographics of New York City (though it’s a national newspaper).

Also, the guild wants a minimum of those applying for jobs at the paper to be persons of color, while adding more minorities be appointed to the Standards team while also investing in mentorship programs.

One of the guild’s requests drew the most attention, however: The request for “sensitivity reads.”

“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 guild said as part of a tweet thread.

The odd request caught the attention of U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), whose op-ed in the paper last month calling for the Trump administration to use the military to help quell rioting triggered Leftist staffers and journalists at the Times.

“Sensitivity reads’ for op-eds? And extra compensation for censoring?” Cotton wrote on Twitter. “New @nytimes motto: All the news that’s fit to print and assessed for sensitivity by well-compensated woke censors.”

Others piled on as well to ridicule the guild’s proposal.

“What if we just fire everyone who demands a sensitivity read because it is childish bulls**t,” conservative journalist and pundit Ben Shapiro wrote.

“Imagine swashbuckling journalists of a previous era begging their management for an additional layer of nit-pick editing (‘sensitivity reads’),” noted journalist Michael Tracy.

In June’s op-ed, Cotton — a former U.S. Army infantry officer who did a combat tour apiece in Iraq and Afghanistan — argued that the Trump administration should “send the troops” to cities like Minneapolis and Portland where local and state officials failed to quell riots and looting.

The decision to publish the opinion piece led to the resignation of Times editorial page editor James Bennet.

Following the publication of Cotton’s op-ed, several Times journalists and staffers all tweeted variations of the same message — that running it somehow put “black @nytimes writers, editors and other staff in danger.”

The Harvard-educated lawyer later blasted pushback from the paper’s largely Leftist staff, claiming that his op-ed actually “exceeded” the paper’s editorial standards.

“I find it amazing that in the last 24 hours, the editor of The New York Times and the publisher of The New York Times have both defended their decision to publish this op-ed, but in the face of the ‘woke’ mob, of ‘woke’ kids that are in their newsroom, they tucked tail and they ran,” Cotton told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

And in mid-July, centrist NY Times editor Bari Weiss also quit, citing a hostile “illiberal environment” at the paper in a scorching letter to publisher Arthur G. Sulzberger.

“[The] lessons that ought to have followed the [2016] election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned,” she wrote.

Jon Dougherty

Staff Writer

Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years' worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.
Jon Dougherty

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