Think Progress: The New York Times will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven reporters and two editors to other departments. The positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor are being eliminated.
InsideClimate News reported in their Friday scoop that theTimes insists this won’t affect coverage. But I’m very skeptical, as are a great many others, judging by comments echoing through the blogosphere, twitter, and my inbox. For instance, the award-winning journalist Peter Dykstra — a 17-year veteran of CNN now publishing the Daily Climate — sent me this note sharing his too-relevant experience:
It’s far from a precise match for our situation at CNN four years ago — we all got fired, not re-shuffled. And of course, CNN will never be confused with the Times. But CNN similarly assured everyone that coverage would not be affected. One area where a decision like this would likely have the same impact at the Times that it did at CNN: When you abolish a standalone beat, it sends a strong message to every career-conscious reporter and editor that chasing environment stories is not a path to advancement.