Editing as Performance Art
“I’m looking for the absolute strongest journalists for these positions, and looking for what will be best for The New York Times,” said Abramson. “I don’t care about the element of surprise. Doing my job is not a public performance. ‘Oooooh, I want the news to be received with surprise!’ That is not something I pay attention to.”
While I obviously love the ladyboss fuck-you vibes, Jill, I think you’re wrong. Your job IS a performance, at least in part, because you are not just an editor, you are a figurehead. Own that role. And you know what? The assertion that there is objectively a “strongest journalist” for any given position undermines your own decision-making skills and particular point of view. I get it. You don’t want to waste your time on some WWD idiot grubbing for a two-second scoop. Understandable. But just make a quick comment about “exciting changes” and get on with your 80-hour work week. You have a vision to implement.