Less than two months ago, The New York Times dissolved its environment desk, eliminating its two environment editor positions and reassigning those editors and seven reporters.
Now the paper is swinging the hatchet again, shutting down the Green blog that had been home to original environmental reporting every weekday. The news was announced in a brief post on the blog today:
The Times is discontinuing the Green blog, which was created to track environmental and energy news and to foster lively discussion of developments in both areas. This change will allow us to direct production resources to other online projects. But we will forge ahead with our aggressive reporting on environmental and energy topics, including climate change, land use, threatened ecosystems, government policy, the fossil fuel industries, the growing renewables sector and consumer choices.The paper says environmental policy news will move to the Caucus blog and energy technology news will move to the Bits blog.
But a Times insider tells Grist that the decision probably means an end to the significant amount of freelance reporting that appeared in the Green blog.
The insider, who’s not authorized to speak on the record about the blog’s closure, says, “I’m not 100 percent sure that we’re going to spend as much time on the environment as in the past. To a large extent that depends on the news. The paper is plastic — it reorganizes itself to meet the requirements of the world around us.”
With that world getting warmer and weirder by the day, there shouldn’t be any shortage of climate and environmental news to report. If the Gray Lady is serious about keeping her green tint, that is.