Less than three years after Merida’s celebrated arrival at the paper, a search for a new executive editor will have to commence.
One of the staffers described an environment that was hyper-focused on profitability, telling The Objective, “I want us to do well as a newsroom…but a lot of the language here is about being profitable, and getting conversions and clicks and getting millions of views, it just rings hollow to me, and I think it honestly rings hollow to a lot of people.
The staffer added, “That’s why there’s some resentment of praising teams like Fast Break [a relatively new team dedicated to fast coverage of breaking news and trending topics] because, you know, are we rewarding the right thing?”
Another point raised by the staffers The Objective spoke with was the paper’s harsh treatment of its employee who in defense of Palestinians amid the Israel-Hamas war. On this end, Merida clashed with Soon-Shiong’s daughter, Nika, the paper’s self-appointed and unofficial ombudsman, The Hollywood Reporter reports. She has been known to publicly bash journalists when their politics don’t align with her own progressive thinking.
According to a current staffer, another problem with the Times is Soon-Shiong’s pursuit of profit, which they intimate played a part in the abrupt departure of Merida. “The newsroom is being run as a for-profit company owned by a billionaire who wants to steer toward profit,” one staffer said. “And that was his [Merida’s] edict and he had to do it. So, you know, he had a job to do, but I don’t think it was a vision that I could fully get on board with, anyway.”
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Source: Black Enterprise