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 Times, New 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.