Jewish Journal

New York Times’ new editor: Jill Abramson, world’s most powerful Jewish woman?

by Susan Freudenheim

June 2, 2011 | 11:40 am

New York Times new editor, Jill Abramson

This morning the New York Times announced that Jill Abramson will take over as the newspaper’s new editor from Bill Keller, who will become a writer for the paper. This makes Abramson the first woman to lead the paper in its history. We have it from reliable sources that Jill Abramson is Jewish—though she’s been quoted saying that in her childhood home, the family religion was the New York Times.

“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said in the Times’ story. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.” (I, as the descendent of a long line of New York Jews, can relate to that, having grown up similarly—newspapers remain sacred trusts in my family.)

We’ll happily claim her, unless told otherwise, as she becomes one of the two most powerful women in the world—Hillary Clinton being the other. When the New York Times publishes a story, it can change the world—for better or worse.

It will be interesting to watch how the paper—and its online presence—will change in the Abramson reign. To be sure she’s been enormously influential already as managing editor, and in recent months she’s been overseeing the Times’ online operations. So, will women’s voices grow stronger? Will we have less macho reporting—should we? There’s no doubt Abramson’s as tough as the next guy, having served both as an investigative reporter and Washington Bureau Chief. And she’ll have former D.C. bureau chief Dean Baquet as her number two. A great new team, and a departure for the top ranks, that’s for sure.

The look of the Grey Lady is sure changing, and we’ll be watching how the makeover works out…


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