Media Blog

CJR Staffers Resign in Protest

If you ask me, Nicholas Lemann is making a dumb decision:

The managing editor of CJRDaily.org, an online adjunct of The Columbia Journalism Review, and his deputy both quit yesterday after the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism told them he was cutting the site’s budget nearly in half.
The dean, Nicholas Lemann, said in an interview that the amount of money raised for the Web site could not sustain the online staff, and he was using a portion of the magazine’s discretionary money for a direct-mail campaign to try to increase subscriptions to the print magazine. The journalism review, which comes out six times a year, has a circulation of 20,000. […]
Both Steve Lovelady, 63, the managing editor, who had been managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and deputy Page 1 editor of The Wall Street Journal, and Bryan Keefer, 28, the assistant managing editor, resigned in protest yesterday.
“It’s a fundamental policy dispute about the allocation of resources,” Mr. Lovelady said. “Nick has decided to spend the money on a direct-mail campaign for the magazine, in hopes of saving subscription revenue. To me, that sounds like something out of the 19th century. He’s taking the one, fresh, smart thing he has and gutting it.”

Disengaging from the web right now is like begging to be irrelevant. I don’t agree with Lovelady about anything, politically, but it’s nice to see a journalist who gets the web and is willing to resign to make a statement.  

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