Is There a Backstory to End of NY Times Gun Blog?


New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes that more than 100 readers have complained about the paper’s decision to discontinue “The Gun Report” on Joe Nocera's blog. The Gun Report, begun shortly after the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., consisted of a daily list of all the gun-related deaths in the United States. Sullivan writes, “Nocera told me that the blog had served its purpose. ‘It felt like the time had come,’ he said. ‘We had made our point.'”

But the blog had been written in recent months by Nocera's editorial assistant, Jennifer Mascia, who has been trying to get back pay for work done on the blog on her own time, and to get a promotion, giving her higher wages for her work. She and her union representatives believe the work on the blog is more like that of a reporter, editor or producer than that of a news assistant. The disagreement on back pay has not been settled. Both Nocera and Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor, said the report had not been discontinued because of the pay disagreement. Nocera said he would continue to cover gun violence in his column.

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