All the News That’s Fit to Post

Dean Baquet no longer attends the daily meeting during which the NYT front page is finalized.

Pope Francis adorns the top of today’s print and website New York Times front pages. But as we all know, this is no longer hallowed ground.

This is a development recently underlined by executive editor Dean Baquet. During his Sept. 9 Code/Media discussion with Peter Kafka and Kara Swisher, Baquet explained how the paper is now conceived from the inside-out rather than outside-in:

“It’s stunning how much it [people’s news consumption patterns] has changed the newsroom. When I became executive editor, we still sat down at the ten o’clock meeting(s) and started the process of all-day building of a print front page. And a tremendous amount of creativity and energy went into the building.”

“I think one of the most important things we’ve done over the last year is to say, that can’t be the measure of success. We barely talk about the print front page in those meetings, and it’s made us better… I don’t even sit in the meeting anymore in the afternoon, where the print front page is chosen. And I did that intentionally… Another group of editors picks it. One out of every 200 times do I second-guess them, because I think that’s nuts as a leader.”

On this date 20 years ago, both The New York Times and Washington Post were explaining on their respective front pages why the papers had chosen to publish the Unabomber’s manifesto. No one at that time could have possibly envisioned how the newfangled thing known as the World Wide Web was going to blow up the newspaper and magazine business.