More from Jill Abramson: Why angry sources come back to the 'Times,' loving Nate Silver, and the Olds
4:05 pm Nov. 27, 2012
Here are a few more nuggets from Jill Abramson's live interview with Business Insider's Henry Blodget, which we covered earlier this afternoon.
When sources get angry at the Times:
I feel like these days so much of it comes from PR people, either a press secretary or someone who is calling in fury mainly out of worry that their boss is going to be angry at them. It's almost refreshing when the person who is complaining and angry actually bothers and comes to talk to me. I don't mind engaging in those discussions at all.
On why those same sources will most likely still work with the Times even after the paper pisses them off:
The Times news report in general probably depends somewhat less on access journalism. The interview with someone isn't the be all, end all. ... We're digging behind the news and analyzing why something happened the way it did, finding the drama behind the curtain. Therefore, the Times is a little less dependent on fearing being cut off. We were thrown off of Vice President Cheney's press plane and we managed to cover the campaign just fine by having reporters on the ground. My experience at the Times and at the Journal, too, is that I was often welcomed back and it's because the sources I was dealing with prize the value of the Journal and the Times. They want that platform. They want their thoughts and statements to have influence and they see the Times as a very important place for that to happen.
On the Times' age demographic:
It's sort of a myth that there's this huge average age difference between our print readership and digital, although the print readership does skew older. ... I can certainly recognize and respect the fact that for certain parts of our news report there's going to be a predominantly digital audience, and that's fine.
On whether she wants to hold on to polling whiz Nate Silver:
Yes. We'd love to have Nate continue to be part of the New York Times family and continue doing the things he does and to expand some of them.
Toward the beginning of the half-hour interview, as we reported earlier, Abramson said that the Times' coverage of the BBC scandal had not made things awkward between her and Mark Thompson, the new Times Company C.E.O. who was head of the BBC when it cancelled a documentary on the allegations of sexual abuse against the late legendary host Jimmy Savile.
Afterward, Bloomberg's Edmund Lee caught up with Abramson briefly to ask her if she still thinks Thompson is the right person to lead the Times Company.
“I have every confidence in him as CEO of the New York Times,” she told him.