The state has proposed fee increases at state beaches and campsites as part of the plan to add staffing in the state parks system. The state Department of Environmental Management plans to talk about the challenges of running more than 65 unique recreational areas with minimal staff, outline the possibilities of adding services through new investment and listen to comments and concerns.
"What the Times and most other newsrooms mostly do now is not so much listen to readers as watch and analyze them, like fish in a bowl," Spayd lamented. Instead, she suggested, the paper's top editors should spend their time peppering individual subscribers with questions, such as, "What do they want done differently? What do they turn to other sites for?" She proceeded to undermine her own argument by citing as examples a series of audience trends--the shift to mobile, the rise of ad-blockers--that could have only been detected in the aggregate. My colleague Isaac Chotiner was quick to catch on to what he called her "phony populism," whose underlying assumption seemed to be that the paper's editors ought to prioritize the whims of random readers over their own news judgment.