A few weeks back my friend Millie Tran invited me to attend the daily morning News meeting at the New York Times. I’ve been a HUGE Times fanboy since growing up in NY and while I’ve had the chance to visit their offices many times, I’d never seen the inner workings like this. Well, at least not outside of the famous documentary Page One (the morning news meeting *used* to be called the “Page One” meeting during the Times’ more print-centric days).
What I didn’t tell Millie was that I wouldn’t be attending alone. You see, when I travel my daughter gives me one of her stuffed animals to take along and send her back pictures of our adventures together.
The News meeting is staffed in-person by all the top editors and called into by the Washington bureau and any other editorial leads who happen to be remote that day. The session lasts 30 minutes or so and it’s an around the room format where each section lead describes any of the big articles they’re running that day (or week) as well as anything they think the rest of the team needs to know. This was the Monday morning after the Harvey Weinstein harassment piece and it was really fascinating to get an inside look at how they thought the coverage was received and the follow-up work going on across several sections.
I came away really impressed by how collaborative the editors are together. It was also pretty thrilling to get the inside scoop on some reporting that wouldn’t be public for another day or so. For example, John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down was hitting stores the next day and the Times was reviewing it in the daily paper — an honor that among Young Adult books had only been granted to the Harry Potter series. John’s a friend from my YouTube days and it was fun to hear that the review would be a positive one, even if I couldn’t share the news with him in advance (ethics!).
Editors who attend the News meeting are allowed to bring guests (we’re announced at the start so no one is surprised). If you can swing an invite, I’d highly recommend taking it in. Especially if your only frame of reference for major metropolitan newspapers is this guy…