Washington Post Reporters Get Graded

November 29th, 2006 12:34 PM
Staffers for the Washington Post are now being graded, in an attempt to make those in the newsroom feel the same pressure as those in the boardroom. The grading options: “frequently exceeds expectations,” “sometimes exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “sometimes fails to meet expectations,” or “frequently does not meet expectations.”

Unfortunately, there are no options for "somewhat biased," "hideously biased," or "Pelosi's press agent biased."

The New York Observer has more on this.

“I initiated this because we’ve had complaints over the years from reporters who would be evaluated and feel that their evaluations were inconclusive,” said Peter Perl, assistant managing editor for training and career development.

This past summer, Mr. Perl set out to overhaul The Post’s evaluation system and met with three senior Post staffers: Milton Coleman, deputy managing editor; Shirley Carswell, assistant managing editor; and Tom Wilkinson, assistant managing editor. Then the group’s ideas were presented to executive editor Len Downie and managing editor Philip Bennett.

In October, Jill Dutt and Sandy Sugawara, top editors in the financial section, spearheaded the process, delivering evaluations to staffers.

“Many of you will find these evaluations to be more brief than what we’ve done in the past,” wrote Ms. Dutt, in an internal memo obtained by The Observer.

Ms. Dutt wrote that Messrs. Downie and Bennett read each evaluation and “don’t have time for long recitations of all the stories each reporter has done over the past year.”