2014年5月21日 星期三

《紐約時報》換主編 Jill Abramson Talks of Resilience



In First Public Remarks After Firing, Jill Abramson Talks of Resilience

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, during the commencement ceremony on Monday at Wake Forest University.
Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times
Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, during the commencement ceremony on Monday at Wake Forest University.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, made her first public appearance since her abrupt dismissal last week, speaking about resilience in a long-scheduled commencement address on Monday at Wake Forest University.
In an 11-minute speech greeted with applause and laughter, Ms. Abramson said her father had always emphasized that it was as important to handle setbacks as to embrace success.

“I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped — have not gotten the job you really wanted or have received those horrible rejection letters from grad school,” she said. “You know the disappointment of losing, or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of.”
She said she was asked by a student whether she might remove a tattoo on her back of The Times’s gothic T. “Not a chance,” she said.
“It was the honor of my life to lead the newsroom,” she said.
At least for the morning, a buzzing Manhattan news media story was transported from Midtown offices and boardrooms to a sunlit quad, surrounded by trees and stately buildings, alive with the excitement of graduating students in black gowns and mortarboards with black and gold tassels. Alongside the parents, students and others taking their seats were reporters from news organizations including Politico, The Wall Street Journal and several television stations.
“I’m impressed that your achievements here have attracted so much media attention,” she joked at the beginning of her address. She said her biggest concern about speaking at the commencement was that “the small media circus following me would detract from you, the class of 2014.”
Ms. Abramson entered the ceremony in a procession with faculty members and administrators, wearing a black gown. She was introduced by Albert R. Hunt Jr., a Bloomberg News columnist, who called her appointment by The Times nearly three years ago, as the first female executive editor, a “seminal step.” Mr. Hunt praised her for leaving The Times “better, stronger and more vibrant than ever.”
Standing behind a lectern under a yellow and white striped marquee, in front of the spire of the university’s Wait Chapel, Ms. Abramson spoke slowly and clearly, despite Mr. Hunt’s lighthearted warning to the graduates that her strong New York accent might require a translator.
Approached by reporters when the ceremony ended, Ms. Abramson said she had nothing more to say.
“There were definitely different expectations,” said Wade Collins, 22, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics. “Some people expected her to go hard at what happened. But she walked the line really well. And this was interesting. These speeches can be really dull.”
Since the publisher of The Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., announced on Wednesday that she would be replaced by the No. 2 editor, Dean Baquet, Ms. Abramson had not publicly discussed her ouster. Mr. Sulzberger had tried to bring off a smooth transition, but Ms. Abramson declined to participate in a more peaceful handover, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
In his initial announcement, Mr. Sulzberger said only that he had fired her because of “an issue with management in the newsroom.”
Last week, a report on The New Yorker’s website suggested that she had been fired for seeking equal pay with her predecessor, Bill Keller, setting off a debate on gender equality. Those reports were strenuously denied by The Times, which said that Ms. Abramson earned 10 percent more than Mr. Keller by the time her tenure ended.
In response to those reports, and a growing debate over whether gender played a role in her dismissal, Mr. Sulzberger issued two more statements about Ms. Abramson in an attempt to quell the furor over her departure. In one statement, issued on Saturday, Mr. Sulzberger wrote, “I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.”
Ms. Abramson, 60, had been confirmed as the speaker at Wake Forest for some weeks, Nathan O. Hatch, the university’s president, said in an interview before the commencement. She was recruited to speak by Mr. Hunt, a Wake Forest alumnus and member of the college’s board of trustees.
After the news of Ms. Abramson’s dismissal, Mr. Hatch said, “We called her on Thursday, and she still wanted to do it.”
The controversy has brought more attention to the speech, Mr. Hatch said, and will perhaps have extra significance for graduates who are “coming into a world where they may have 20 jobs in their lifetimes” and will need to learn resilience. For female students, he said, “I do think it has extra resonance.”
Mr. Hatch, following Ms. Abramson, spoke on the value of teamwork. “Great teams,” he said, “require trust in each other.”
While acknowledging that “losing a job you love hurts,” Ms. Abramson suggested that she would remain involved in journalism, which she called “the work I revere” and “the work I will remain very much a part of.”
She later said: “What’s next for me? I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you. Like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited.”



Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times
北卡羅萊納州溫斯頓-塞倫——周一,《紐約時報》前主編吉 爾·阿布拉姆松(Jill Abramson)在維克森林大學(Wake Forest University)畢業典禮上致辭,這場很久之前排定的演說,是阿布拉姆松被突然解職後的首次公開露面,演說中她談到如何在困難中站起來。

至少在那個上午,一個鬧哄哄的曼哈頓新聞媒體故事,從紐約 市中心的辦公室和董事會,被傳送到了這片陽光燦爛的四邊形庭院里,院子周圍是樹木和威嚴的建築,畢業生們身着黑袍、戴着有黑金兩色流蘇的學位帽,整個庭院 洋溢着他們的歡快。除了家長、學生以及其他各方人士,觀眾席里還坐着新聞機構的記者,其中包括《政治人》(Politico)、《華爾街日報》(Wall Street Journal)以及多家電視台的記者。
阿布拉姆松身着黑袍,與學校教員、行政人員列隊進入會場。 彭博新聞社(Bloomberg News)專欄作家小阿爾伯特·R·亨特(Albert R. Hunt Jr.)為她作了開場白,三年前阿布拉姆松被任命為時報歷史上首位女性主編一事,被亨特稱為「創舉」。他稱讚時報在阿布拉姆松任內變得「空前地優秀、強大 和活躍」。
現年22歲的韋德·科林斯(Wade Collins)以數理經濟學學士學位畢業,他說,「大家肯定是有不同的期待的。有人以為她會對剛剛發生的事情發表嚴厲評論。但她的分寸把握得很好。挺有意思。這種演講有時候可以很無聊的。」
時報出版人小阿瑟·蘇茲伯格(Arthur Sulzberger Jr.)上周三宣布,阿布拉姆松將被編輯團隊二號人物迪恩·巴奎(Dean Baquet)取代,此後她一直沒就自己被解職一事發表公開言論。據對內情有第一手了解的人說,蘇茲伯格曾試圖尋求平穩過渡,但阿布拉姆松不願參與一場更 為平和的權力交接。
《紐約客》(New Yorker)上周的一篇報道稱,她被解僱的原因是她要求得到跟前任主編比爾·凱勒(Bill Keller)同等的薪資待遇,從而點燃了一場關於性別平等的爭論。時報一直在竭力否認類似的報道,稱阿布拉姆松在任期結束之時的薪資比凱勒要高出10%。
維克森林大學校長內森·O·哈奇(Nathan O. Hatch)在畢業典禮演說前接受採訪說,現年60歲的阿布拉姆松數周前已經確認了這場演講。她是受到了維克森林大學校友、校理事亨特的邀請。



報社的秘密通常都藏不了多長時間。但這一次卻有所不同:周三下午當小阿瑟·蘇茲伯格(Arthur Sulzberger Jr.)在《紐約時報》新聞編輯部宣布吉爾·阿布拉姆松(Jill Abramson)已被免職時,聚集在此的數百人,大都震驚不已。
此後,許多人對阿布拉姆松為何在這個職位上只幹了不到三年,做了各種報道和揣測。《紐約時報》自己也寫了一篇紮實的報道, 沒有遮遮掩掩。就連報道的標題「時報解僱主編,提拔二把手」(Times Ousts Its Executive Editor, Elevating Second in Command)也實話實說:不是「辭職」,也不是為了能有更多時間陪家人。當時,阿布拉姆松不在編輯部;在這次匆忙召開的尷尬會議上,沒人試圖低調處理 已發生的事情。

儘管周三給人的感覺是這樣,但事情並沒有那麼令人震驚。編輯換人是常事。新提拔的迪恩·巴奎(Dean Baquet)是時報過去幾十年里的第四任主編。
對時報的讀者而言,應該展望未來,而不是固守過去。巴奎非常合格。 作為一名調查記者,他多次獲得普利策獎,他也是一名經驗豐富的出色編輯。對他的任命也創造了歷史:他是時報首位非裔主編。他愛交際、人緣好,「情商」很高 這一點是額外的加分點,而且這一點可能會讓他擔任這一職務時間超過大部分人。他向員工承諾會「認真聆聽」,並將「體察實情」。
解僱阿布拉姆松是否與薪酬上的性別不平等有關?在看到媒體 報道後,今天有一些讀者通過電子郵件告訴我,他們是這樣認為的。時報明確否認該說法,並表示阿布拉姆松的薪資與前任比爾·凱勒(Bill Keller)是「相當的」。我正加緊了解此事的有關細節,相信會有進一步的說法。
時報在人事變動的處理上是否缺乏透明度?有人表達過這種不 滿。雙方曾簽署過非貶低協議;這是當下的普遍做法。在員工會議上,蘇茲伯格讚揚了阿布拉姆松的新聞素養,但表示「編輯部的管理工作存在問題」。有讀者對我 說,他們擔心此事背後存在性別歧視。作為一名旁觀者,我不認為這個任免決定跟阿布拉姆松的「咄咄逼人」有什麼關係,而那是一個用來形容作風強硬、觀點鮮明 的暗語,跟她的性別有關。相比之下,她在某些管理和人事決策上不講究策略、不太審慎,是更重要的原因。置身於一個正被迫自我重塑的行業,作為1250名員 工的上司,這是有影響的。
今天下午蘇茲伯格發出了一份致時報員工的備忘錄。我已請求 阿布拉姆松置評,若能得到回應會及時更新。此外我還詢問了時報女發言人艾琳·墨菲(Eileen Murphy),下面的郵件中提到的同酬,是不是在經過投訴後才得到的。她說,「不,絕對不是。沒有這樣的薪酬調整。這是個不實的說法。」
「出於多種原因,在幾位主編之間進行退休金的比較並非易 事。退休金是根據在公司服務的時長來決定的。吉爾的在職時間比許多前任主編要短很多。其次,你們應該知道,紐約時報所有管理人員的退休金方案在2009年 被凍結過。然而公司在進行包括那次在內的所有退休金調整時,都不存在性別歧視,無論如何,吉爾都沒有受到與其他人不同的對待,也不曾因此處於不利境地。
瑪格麗特·沙利文(Margaret Sullivan)是《紐約時報》公眾編輯(Public Editor)。

Times Issues Response on Abramson Pay


A day after The New York Times Company announced that it had dismissed Jill Abramson, The Times’s first female executive editor, it found itself mired in controversy, having to reassure employees and rebut reports that her removal was related to her complaints about receiving less pay than her male predecessors.

 In announcing Ms. Abramson’s departure on Wednesday, the company said she had been fired only because of management issues, but through Thursday, a strong counternarrative had emerged in the news media — including the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC and The New Yorker — that Ms. Abramson had been a victim of sexism by being held to a different standard than male editors. The news even reverberated on Capitol Hill, where Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, used Ms. Abramson’s ouster to argue for equal pay legislation.

In announcing Ms. Abramson’s departure on Wednesday, the company said she had been fired only because of management issues, but through Thursday, a strong counternarrative had emerged in the news media — including the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC and The New Yorker — that Ms. Abramson had been a victim of sexism by being held to a different standard than male editors. The news even reverberated on Capitol Hill, where Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, used Ms. Abramson’s ouster to argue for equal pay legislation.Arthur Sulzberger Jr., left, and Mr. Baquet on Wednesday.

Earl Wilson/The New York Times
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., left, and Mr. Baquet on Wednesday.

As the debate coalesced around the issue of gender, senior Times editors met with employees to reiterate the company’s rationale for dismissing Ms. Abramson: that the decision did not reflect sexism and was not about pay disparity, but about Ms. Abramson’s style of leadership.
Dean Baquet, who was promoted to replace Ms. Abramson, held a conference call with foreign correspondents and a meeting with the national desk to answer their questions about the change. The deputy managing editor for personnel issues, Janet Elder, called a meeting of senior female managers to solicit their feedback and also assure them that Ms. Abramson had received compensation comparable with her predecessors.
Alison Mitchell, the national editor, who attended the meeting, said it was not surprising that younger women in the newsroom would be upset. “Jill was an important figure,” she said. “It is important that a woman became the editor of The New York Times and she went out of her way to mentor younger women reporters.”
She added, “Those of us women in leadership positions right now need to do our job and reach out to other women.”
At midday Thursday, The Times’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., reached out to the entire newsroom, dismissing the notion that compensation had played a role in Ms. Abramson’s departure.
Saying he wanted to correct “misinformation,” he wrote: “The reason — the only reason — for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill’s management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment.”
The issue of pay rocketed around the Internet on Thursday after Ken Auletta of The New Yorker reported, in two articles, that Ms. Abramson had confronted management because she believed that her pay and her pension benefits were less than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller.
Mr. Auletta, who appeared on “Morning Joe” and “CBS This Morning” wrote: “This may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy,’ a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.” Details about her compensation were attributed to two unnamed people, an associate and a friend of Ms. Abramson’s. It was not clear who had characterized her as pushy.
In his letter to the staff, Mr. Sulzberger said: “Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10 percent higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as executive editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.”
In a phone interview, Mr. Auletta, who said he had not spoken to Ms. Abramson, said that his reporting showed that “in her mind, something bordered on unequal treatment for women” during her career as a senior editor and in the top job. He said he had been unable to verify with The Times the precise details of her compensation package, or those of her predecessors in various roles across the newsroom.
Within The Times newsroom, reporters and editors expressed a range of opinions over the role that gender played in her removal.
“I think traits that are perceived positively in men are perceived negatively in women: aggressiveness, decisiveness and even brusqueness,” said Patricia Cohen, a culture reporter who has been at The Times for 15 years. “Many male leaders in business have the same personality traits, and it doesn’t necessarily hurt them. But I certainly hope that gender did not play into this particular decision; I have faith in the institution of The Times.”
Kate Zernike, a metro reporter who has been on staff for 14 years, said: “The rush to call this sexism is predictable, but unfortunate — and wrong. I think the truth, like it usually is, was more complicated. There are certainly gender issues at the paper, but I don’t think it’s right to see Jill’s departure as an expression of them.”
Ann Marie Lipinski, the former editor of The Chicago Tribune and the curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, said that the issue of sexism in newsrooms was complex and nuanced.
As with men leaving their jobs, she said, the stories are all individual. “Yet we have an ability to resupply that population,“ she said of male editors, “but have not been able to sustain any level of senior female leadership in newsrooms.”
Adding to the tumult at The Times, a lengthy report on digital and other innovation at the company was leaked to the website BuzzFeed.
The report, prepared by A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher’s son, said The Times needed to accelerate its digital strategy, and suggested specific remedies for increasing reader engagement in the company’s journalism.
Mr. Sulzberger, in announcing Ms. Abramson’s firing, said that the report had no part in his decision. And a shorter version of the report was released publicly. “We are extremely proud of this report,” said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The Times. “It is a candid assessment of our digital transformation with insightful recommendations, many of which we have embraced and are working to implement.”
Ms. Abramson has not responded to repeated requests for comment over the last two days, but did surface on social media on Thursday. In an Instagram photo posted by her daughter, she stood before a punching bag, wearing workout gear and boxing gloves.
Late Thursday, the president of Brandeis University announced that Ms. Abramson would not be attending the school’s commencement exercises, where she was scheduled to receive an honorary degree. But she will deliver the commencement address at Wake Forest University on Monday, according to a release from the school.


Earl Wilson/The New York Times

紐約時報公司宣布將該報歷史上的首位女性主編吉爾·阿布拉姆松(Jill Abramson)免職後的一天,公司發現其陷入了爭議,不得不安撫員工,並駁斥了她的解職涉及抱怨薪酬不及男性前任的報道。
公司周三對外宣布阿布拉姆松離職, 聲明中稱,解僱她的唯一的理由是管理問題。不過在周四,新聞媒體——包括MSNBC電視台的《早安,喬》(Morning Joe)節目和《紐約客》(The New Yorker)——出現了一種迥異的說法,認為阿布拉姆松是性別歧視的犧牲品,受到的待遇標準與男性編輯有別。這則消息甚至在國會山引發了反響:參議院多 數黨領袖哈里·里德(Harry Reid)用阿布拉姆松被迫離職一事來主張進行同工同酬立法。
  • 檢視大圖 周三,小阿瑟·蘇茲伯格(左)與巴奎特。
    Earl Wilson/The New York Times
接替阿布拉姆松職位的迪恩·巴奎(Dean Baquet)與國際新聞記者們召開了電話會議,並與美國新聞部的人員會面,回答關於這次變動的問題。負責人事的執行副主編珍妮特·埃爾德 (Janet Elder)主持召開了女性高管的會議,徵集她們的反饋意見,並向她們保證,阿布拉姆松的薪酬與前任相當。
參會的美國新聞主編艾莉森·米切爾(Alison Mitchell)事後表示,編輯部較為年輕的女性有失望情緒,這一點並不令人驚訝。「吉爾是重要人物,」她說。「很重要的是,一名女性成為了《紐約時報》主編,而她會格外去指導年輕女記者。」
周四中午,《紐約時報》出版人小阿瑟·蘇茲伯格(Arthur Sulzberger Jr.)主動向整個編輯部作出說明,駁斥了報酬問題在阿布拉姆松遭解職一事上起到作用的做說。
周四,薪酬問題在互聯網上引發熱議。因為《紐約客》的肯·奧萊塔(Ken Auletta)發表了兩篇報道,稱阿布拉姆松質詢了管理層,她認為自己的薪酬與退休福利少於前任比爾·凱勒(Bill Keller)。
文中寫道:「這有可能正好落入了管理層存在的她『咄咄逼 人』的說法。對很多人而言,這種定性無疑具有性別因素。」關於她薪酬的細節出自未具名的兩個來源,分別是阿布拉姆松的熟人與朋友。尚不清楚究竟是誰稱她 「咄咄逼人」。後來,奧萊塔還在《早安,喬》與《CBS今晨》(CBS This Morning)節目中出鏡。
「我認為,在男人身上被認為正面的品質,到了女人身上就成 了負面:進取、果斷,乃至唐突,」在時報工作了15年的文化記者(Patricia Cohen)說。 「許多男性商界領導人擁有同樣的個性,但並不一定會對他們造成傷害。不過,我當然希望,具體到這次的決定,性別沒有起到作用。我對時報 的原則有信心。」
已為本報服務14年的都市新聞記者凱特·澤尼克(Kate Zernike)稱:「匆匆將之稱為性別歧視的做法可以預見到,但很不幸,也是錯誤的。我想,與往常一樣,真相更為複雜。我們報紙當然存在一些性別問題,但我認為,並不應該把吉爾的離去看成這些問題的表現。」
哈佛尼曼新聞基金會(Nieman Foundation for Journalism)的負責人安·瑪麗·利平斯基(Ann Marie Lipinski)曾擔任《芝加哥論壇報》(The Chicago Tribune)主編,她認為,新聞機構中的性別歧視問題複雜而微妙。
這份報告由出版人之子A·G·蘇茲伯格(A. G. Sulzberger)負責起草。文中認為時報需要在數字化策略上加快步伐,並且給出了增加讀者參與該報報道的一些具體措施。
在宣布解聘阿布拉姆松時,小阿瑟·蘇茲伯格稱,自己的決定 與這份報告無關。它的較短版本隨後公之於眾。「我們對這份報告極為自豪,「時報女發言人艾琳·墨菲(Eileen Murphy)。「這是對數字化轉型的坦率評估,給出了見解深刻的建議。其中許多建議我們已經採納,並在努力實施。」
周四晚,布蘭迪斯大學(Brandeis University)校長宣布,阿布拉姆松將不會參加該校的畢業慶典。按照原本的計劃,她將獲得該校的榮譽學位。不過,根據維克森林大學(Wake Forest University)公布的聲明,她將於下周一在該校進行畢業典禮演講。