Media: New York Times' Diminished Role On Education Site
Though few have noted it, the joint effort between the NYT and local NPR affiliate WNYC to cover New York City schools has over the past year shifted away from the Times -- and is operating with what appears to be substantially reduced resources.
When it began a little over a year ago, SchoolBook seemed like the creation of the New York Times (who supplied the site, the data geeks who developed the school search capabilities, and at least some of the reporting) more than anything else. Local NPR station WNYC was a valued partner and provided reporting heft and broadcast options and unique access to Public Insights, but seemed secondary in its role. See my initial posts about it here and here.
Since then, at least two of the NYT editors who were assigned to the project -- Mary Ann Giordano and Jodi Wilgoren Rudoren -- have been moved to other duties (Wilgoren is the bureau chief in Israel). The fulltime reporter hired to report for SchoolBook -- Anna Phillips -- left for a job down South in June and hasn't been replaced to my knowledge. Though the page's favicon still renders as "NYT," there's only WNYC branding on the front page of the site -- no NYT logo at all. WNYCers Yasmeen Kahn, Fertig, and Pat Willen are listed, but no Giordano (though the site's about page includes an August 30 note from Giordano).
That leaves WNYC in the driver's seat ("taking the lead" is the term someone at WNYC used to describe the change), albeit with reduced reporting resources. The frequency of WNYC education segments and broadcast SchoolBook promos seems like it's been on the rise, but there's certainly less original reporting on the SchoolBook site, and a big focus on reader participation (sure sign of limited budgets).