Bitte mal herhören, NZZ-VR!

So geht das mit der Chefredaktoren- bzw. Chefredaktorinnenfindung bei einem richtigen Qualitätsblatt:

«It’s been 50 years since an outsider […] was made editor […]. The main reason for that inward focus is that the editor needs to know how to navigate the idiosyncratic culture of the newspaper […]. The editor must act as part coach and part referee, for there are many brilliant minds, including some world-class experts in their fields; discussion is polite, but pointed. The paper’s no-bylines policy and tight editing give it an air of collegial unity, but also mean that the editor is, even more than at other old newspapers, the custodian of a long intellectual tradition and an established way of doing things. All this makes it highly unlikely that a complete newcomer could win the staff’s confidence.

And that confidence is essential to getting the job. While it’s the company’s directors — all but one of whom are also men — who interview the candidates and recommend one to the trustees, a quartet of eminences who act as guarantors of the editor’s independence, all […] staff are encouraged to write in with their opinions on who should win. […]

You might imagine the selection process for such a bastion of the […] establishment to include some arcane rituals, perhaps involving gowns and Latin. You’d be disappointed. After [XY], the incumbent, announced that he was leaving to head up Bloomberg News, hopefuls were asked to write a short email to the current board chairman […] to say they wished to run. […]

What happened next, however, could have happened nowhere else. An all-staff email went out containing the full list of candidates, including the two of us employed elsewhere, without so much as a request to keep it confidential. I briefly panicked; at any other newspaper, such a list would most likely have been leaked to a media gossip columnist within minutes. Not so at [this paper]. It probably never even occurred to anyone to do such a thing.

We sent in memos; then there were interviews, held in the company boardroom on the 14th floor, a large and airy space compared with the warren of offices below it. Mine was the last interview but one. Soon we would learn who had been shortlisted for an interview by the full board. To celebrate our last moment as equals in rivalry, 12 of the candidates (the 13th wasn’t around) went for lunch in Chinatown […].

The winnowing-down was brisk and efficient. That afternoon, as I hung around the office chatting to former colleagues, the emails started arriving from [the board chairman]. ‹As you know, we have had a large number of excellent applicants,› he wrote, ‹and a few of them have proved stronger candidates than you. I am sorry to disappoint you, but I hope you understand.›»

von Martin Hitz | Kategorie: Medienschau

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