With NYT on Strike, Let’s Revisit “Not the New York Times”

Suggested reading amid the New York Times walkout.

Picketers, Rupert Murdoch, bellbottoms.AP Photo

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

More than 1,100 New York Times employees are striking for 24 hours after more than a year and a half of contract negotiations. But the Times website is still up and running, populated by prewrites, articles written by non-unionized staff, and a couple high-profile scabs

This reminded us of a relic of a famous newspaper strike: Not the New York Times.

Let’s remember the energy. It’s 1978 in New York. People didn’t have household internet access and were free of the 24-hour news cycle. For updates on current events, they tuned in for the nightly television news, turned on the radio, or picked up a newspaper. That year, for 88 days between August and November, the New York newspaper industry stopped.

When the New York TimesNew York Daily News, and the New York Post all shut down production amid a strike, Not the New York Times stepped in to fill the void.

An early precursor of The Onion, Not the New York Times looked convincingly like the real thing, with articles and ads created by striking newspaper writers and others in the media industry, including Carl Bernstein and Veronica Geng.

I was unaware of Not the New York Times until Mother Jones editor Marianne Szegedy-Maszak mentioned it (h/t to her), but I was delighted by the “Sprots” (not a sic) section. For whatever reason, the staff at my college—DIII except for fencing, no football team—newspaper called it the same thing.

You can find a PDF of Not the New York Times here.

Check it out.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate