March 08, 2012

'New York Times’ Drops Philanthropy as Special Area of Coverage

The New York Times has eliminated its philanthropy beat, a move that could make it harder for nonprofits to get their stories told to a national audience.

The newspaper was one of the last daily newspapers to employ a reporter to cover national nonprofits on a full-time basis. That reporter, Stephanie Strom, is now writing about business.

Stephanie Yera, a spokeswoman for the New York Times Company, said the newspaper would still cover philanthropy-related stories “across news desks.”

As an example, she noted a front-page article this week by Eric Lichtblau about a lawsuit over control of the Cato Institute. She also noted in an e-mail that “our culture and education desks are regularly churning out stories about philanthropy and nonprofits."

Online Outlets

On the one hand, news Web sites, like the Huffington Post’s Impact page and The Washington Post’s On Giving section, offer more chances for charity leaders to share their perspectives. But hard news and journalism about the field, at least at the national level, seem to be dwindling along with newspaper budgets.

The Washington Post employed a reporter to cover nonprofits full time until November 2008. A spokeswoman for the company, Jennifer Lee, said in an e-mail that in addition to its On Giving page, The Post has two reporters who cover local nonprofits on a part-time basis for its Capital Business section.