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《纽约时报》换主编对读者意味什么?

What Might Leadership Change Mean for Times Readers?
《纽约时报》换主编对读者意味什么?

Secrets don’t normally last long at newspapers. But this was different: Most of the hundreds who gathered in the Times newsroom Wednesday afternoon were stunned by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.’s announcement that Jill Abramson had been fired.

报社的秘密通常都藏不了多长时间。但这一次却有所不同:周三下午当小阿瑟·苏兹伯格(Arthur Sulzberger Jr.)在《纽约时报》新闻编辑部宣布吉尔·阿布拉姆松(Jill Abramson)已被免职时,聚集在此的数百人,大都震惊不已。

Since then, many have reported and speculated on why Ms. Abramson lasted less than three years in the job. The Times itself wrote a solidly reported story that pulled no punches. Even the headline told it like it is: There was no “stepping down,” no leaving to spend more time with family. “Times Ousts Its Executive Editor, Elevating Second in Command.” Ms. Abramson was not in the newsroom; no one, in this hastily called and awkward meeting, made an effort to soft-pedal what had happened.

此后,许多人对阿布拉姆松为何在这个职位上只干了不到三年,做了各种报道和揣测。《纽约时报》自己也写了一篇扎实的报道,没有遮遮掩掩。就连报道的标题“时报解雇主编,提拔二把手”(Times Ousts Its Executive Editor, Elevating Second in Command)也实话实说:不是“辞职”,也不是为了能有更多时间陪家人。当时,阿布拉姆松不在编辑部;在这次匆忙召开的尴尬会议上,没人试图低调处理已发生的事情。

Though it felt that way Wednesday, what happened is not all that shocking. Editors come and go. The newly elevated Dean Baquet is the fourth Times editor in the past dozen years.

尽管周三给人的感觉是这样,但事情并没有那么令人震惊。编辑换人是常事。新提拔的迪恩·巴奎(Dean Baquet)是时报过去几十年里的第四任主编。

What makes it feel different is two things. Ms. Abramson was the first woman in the job, and she didn’t leave on her own terms.

让人觉得有所不同的有两件事。阿布拉姆松是担任这一职务的首位女性,而且她不是自愿离开的。

Publishers, like owners of baseball teams, get to make these decisions – and they continually do. When editors and publishers disagree, when the tension gets unbearable, realpolitik prevails: It’s the editor who is gone, not the publisher.

就像棒球队的老板一样,出版人得做这样的决定,而且他们会不断做这样的决定。当编辑和出版人意见不合,双方的紧张关系变得难以忍受时,胜出的总是现实政治:离开的是编辑,而非出版人。

But let’s take a moment to celebrate the short but meaningful reign of Ms. Abramson. A brilliant journalist, she “kept the paper straight,” which was one of her stated aims; there was no scandal on her watch. She moved the journalism forward into the digital realm – let’s allow the word “Snowfall,” like “Rosebud,” to say it all. She defended press rights and stood up for her reporters, most notably with China coverage, staying the course when the going got tough. And her staff won eight Pulitzers during her short tenure (it should have been nine, in my view). And she wore her feminism on her sleeve in just the right way – not with overplaying stories about women’s issues, but with the determined promotion of qualified women into top roles. Her masthead was 50 percent women in recent months, a major change.

但我们花点时间来称赞阿布拉姆松短暂却颇有意义的任期吧。身为一名才华横溢的记者,她“坚持做真正的新闻”,这是她阐明的目标之一;她任内没有发生过丑闻。她推动新闻业进入了数字领域——让我们用“雪崩”这个词,就像“玫瑰花蕾”(Rosebud)一样来形容这一点吧。她捍卫报道权利,支持自己手下的记者,尤其是对涉及中国的报道,并在处境艰难时坚持到底。在她短暂的任期内,时报获得了八项普利策奖(在我看来本应该是九项)。而且,她以恰当的方式公开表现自己的女权立场——不是通过大力报道有关女性的议题,而是坚决提升称职的女性担任高级职务。最近几个月,时报高层中,女性占到了一半,这是一个重大变化。

In an interview with Gotham magazine only weeks ago, she said one measure of her success as the first woman to lead the paper would be this: “When I leave, will there be several plausible female candidates to take my place?” Mr. Baquet will be assembling his own team in the next weeks and months. He has not just a couple of good internal female choices for top roles, but, remarkably, many.

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

就在几周前,她在接受《哥谭》杂志(Gotham)的采访时表示,作为时报的首位女性领导人,衡量自己成功与否的一项标准是:“当我离开时,会有几名看上去适合的女性候选人来接替我吗?”巴奎将在未来几周或几个月的时间里组建起自己的团队。在时报内部,他不仅有三两个,而是有许多个可以出任高级职务的女性人选,这一点非同寻常。

For Times readers, the direction to look is not back but forward. Mr. Baquet is extremely well qualified. He is a prize-winning investigative reporter and an experienced, top-flight editor. His appointment also makes history; he is the first African-American executive editor of The Times. That he is gregarious and popular and possessed of well-honed “emotional intelligence” is a bonus – and one that will probably keep him in the job longer than most. He promised the staff to “listen hard,” and to “walk the room.”

对时报的读者而言,应该展望未来,而不是固守过去。巴奎非常合格。作为一名调查记者,他多次获得普利策奖,他也是一名经验丰富的出色编辑。对他的任命也创造了历史:他是时报首位非裔主编。他爱交际、人缘好,“情商”很高这一点是额外的加分点,而且这一点可能会让他担任这一职务时间超过大部分人。他向员工承诺会“认真聆听”,并将“体察实情”。

I fervently hope that he will be an editor who pushes back hard against powerful interests, including the highest levels of the U.S. government, and who encourages journalism that champions the least fortunate — and the survival of the planet. I also hope that he will put his foot firmly on the gas pedal and keep it there, accelerating the drive into the digital future.

我由衷地希望他作为主编,能极力向强大的利益集团施压,其中包括美国政府最高层,也能对关注最不幸的人群、关注地球生存的新闻报道给予支持。我也希望他能持续开足马力,加速驶入数字化的未来。

Was the firing of Ms. Abramson related to gender-related pay inequality, as some readers have told me in emails today that they believe, after reading press coverage? The Times is denying that vociferously, saying that Ms. Abramson’s pay was “directly comparable” to that of her predecessor, Bill Keller. I’m pressing for the details on this, and have reason to think I’ll have something more soon.

解雇阿布拉姆松是否与薪酬上的性别不平等有关?在看到媒体报道后,今天有一些读者通过电子邮件告诉我,他们是这样认为的。时报明确否认该说法,并表示阿布拉姆松的薪资与前任比尔·凯勒(Bill Keller)是“相当的”。我正加紧了解此事的有关细节,相信会有进一步的说法。

Has The Times lacked transparency in its handling of the change, as others are complaining? Both sides have signed a nondisparagement agreement; that’s normal these days. In the staff meeting, Mr. Sulzberger praised Ms. Abramson’s journalism but said “we had an issue with management in the newsroom.” Some readers told me they worry that sexism underlies that. As an observer, I don’t think this decision had much to do with Ms. Abramson being “pushy,” which is gender-related code for strong and opinionated. It was more that she was undiplomatic and less than judicious in some management and personnel decisions. That matters when you’re supervising 1,250 people in a business being forced to reinvent itself.

时报在人事变动的处理上是否缺乏透明度?有人表达过这种不满。双方曾签署过非贬低协议;这是当下的普遍做法。在员工会议上,苏兹伯格赞扬了阿布拉姆松的新闻素养,但表示“编辑部的管理工作存在问题”。有读者对我说,他们担心此事背后存在性别歧视。作为一名旁观者,我不认为这个任免决定跟阿布拉姆松的“咄咄逼人”有什么关系,而那是一个用来形容作风强硬、观点鲜明的暗语,跟她的性别有关。相比之下,她在某些管理和人事决策上不讲究策略、不太审慎,是更重要的原因。置身于一个正被迫自我重塑的行业,作为1250名员工的上司,这是有影响的。

纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com

I’ve read many press accounts, some better than others, over the past nearly 24 hours. I’ll say this much: If you want to know what happened, your best bet is to read the detailed and unsparing story on the front page of today’s New York Times. From all I can tell, it was reported “without fear or favor.” That’s a good sign.

过去不到24小时里,我读了不少媒体的报道,有好有差。我可以这么说:如果你想了解事情原委,最可靠的办法,是阅读今天《纽约时报》头版那篇细节丰富、毫无保留的报道。在我看来,它的报道是“没有惧怕或偏袒的”。这是个好的迹象。

Updated, 2:39 p.m. | Mr. Sulzberger sent this memo to Times staff members this afternoon. I have asked Ms. Abramson for comment and will add that if I get it. I also asked The Times’s spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy, if the parity referred to in the email below occurred after a complaint. “No, absolutely not,” she said. “There was no such adjustment. That’s false.”

今天下午苏兹伯格发出了一份致时报员工的备忘录。我已请求阿布拉姆松置评,若能得到回应会及时更新。此外我还询问了时报女发言人艾琳·墨菲(Eileen Murphy),下面的邮件中提到的同酬,是不是在经过投诉后才得到的。她说,“不,绝对不是。没有这样的薪酬调整。这是个不实的说法。”

The memo is as follows.

以下是备忘录的内容:

I am writing to you because I am concerned about the misinformation that has been widely circulating in the media since I announced Jill Abramson’s departure yesterday. I particularly want to set the record straight about Jill’s pay as Executive Editor of The Times.

“我写这封信的原因是,自从昨天我宣布了吉尔·阿布拉姆松离职的消息后,一些不实信息在媒体中广泛传播,这让我感到担忧。我尤其想就吉尔作为时报主编的薪资做出澄清。”

It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors. Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.

“吉尔的薪酬大大低于前任的说法根本不是事实。她的薪酬与以前的主编相当。实际上,2013年,也就是她全年担任主编的最后一年,她的总薪酬比前任比尔·凯勒全年担任主编的最后一年,即2010年,高出10%。这一金额同时高于他之前任何一年的总薪酬。”

Comparisons between the pensions of different executive editors are difficult for several reasons. Pensions are based upon years of service with the Company. Jill’s years of service were significantly fewer than those of many of her predecessors. Secondly, as you may know, pension plans for all managers at The New York Times were frozen in 2009. But this and all other pension changes at the Company have been applied without any gender bias and Jill was not singled out or differentially disadvantaged in any way.

“出于多种原因,在几位主编之间进行退休金的比较并非易事。退休金是根据在公司服务的时长来决定的。吉尔的在职时间比许多前任主编要短很多。其次,你们应该知道,纽约时报所有管理人员的退休金方案在2009年被冻结过。然而公司在进行包括那次在内的所有退休金调整时,都不存在性别歧视,无论如何,吉尔都没有受到与其他人不同的对待,也不曾因此处于不利境地。”

Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation. The reason – the only reason – for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill’s management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment.

“在决定是否让吉尔继续担任主编一职时,薪资根本不是我曾考量的因素。也从未就薪资进行过任何讨论。这一决定的原因——唯一的原因——是我对吉尔管理我们新闻编辑部的某些方面感到担忧。这一点我之前明确地告诉过她,包括面对面的交流,以及我进行的年度评估。”

This Company is fully committed to equal treatment of all its employees, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. We are working hard to live up to that principle in every part of our organization. I am satisfied that we fully lived up to that commitment with regard to Jill.

“我们这家公司在员工的平等对待上是全心全意的,无论是性别、种族、民族、年龄、性取向或任何其他特征。我们在非常努力地确保机构内的方方面面都能践行这一原则。在吉尔的事情上,我们坚守了自己的承诺,对此我深感满意。”

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