Tim Porter posts, at long last

April 19, 2004

He’s been away for a few weeks … today he weighed in on why management is so crappy at so many newspapers.

I have become increasingly convinced in the last few months, however – persuaded by interviews with dozens of editors, reporters and heads of journalism training organizations for a couple of projects I am involved in – that the greatest impediment news managers face to cultural change is themselves, especially middle managers, the desk editors, assignment editors and others with the most direct, day-to-day contact with the reporters and photographers.

I think this happens because middle managers become paralyzed by deadline pressures from our side (meaning copy/design desks) and bullshit pressures from the glass-office types. Our nagging is bad enough, but the endemic second-guessing, micromanaging and overruling from the higher-ups make that autopilot switch ever more enticing.

(Mind you this could never happen at my employer, because I have vowed never to speak of my own job on this blog).

One Response to Tim Porter posts, at long last

  1. SR on April 20, 2004 at 6:34 pm

    geez, do I know about pressure from below and above, micro-managing and feeling paralyzed. You two are onto something.
    I wish my paper was better. I wish I was a better editor. I wish I had the resources and the support from the higher-ups to put out a better paper and be a better editor than I am. I feel guilty all the time that I’m not doing more at my paper, but I think my head would explode if I took my job home with me any more than I already do.