Bodies Uncounted

There are perhaps other weeks of the year that the New York Times could have chosen to lay off more than twenty reporters and editors, weeks that are not so deep into the holidays. And yet, why not this week? In the end, is it so different from slow, quiet purge, a few people, one publication, one budget at a time at Conde Nast over the last couple of months? Or the five hundred bodies wordlessly thrown from the building as Time Inc. was tossed off from Time Warner? A certain kind of media reporting — which is to say, much of it that is not about BuzzFeeᴅ or Vice — has become more like writing autopsy reports, grim and technical and inevitable. Through that lens, it’s little wonder that the Times’ media desk suffered the most; it could not be any other way, even at a time when it feels like so much loss is left unreckoned.