The New York Times Claws Its Way Into The Future

from Wired

ARTHUR GREGG SULZBERGER doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business. He was young, he says, no older than 6, when he shuffled through the brass-plated revolving doors of the old concrete hulk on 43rd Street and boarded the elevator up to his father’s and grandfather’s offices. He often visited for a few minutes before taking a trip to the newsroom on the third floor, all typewriters and moldering stacks of paper, and then he’d sometimes go down to the subbasement to take in the oily scents and clanking sounds of the printing press. This was the early ’80s, when The New York Times was nothing but ink on paper and was printed in the same building where the journalism was created. His memories are hazy, perhaps because he’s 36 now and it was a long time ago, and perhaps because that building, like the Times, was always just there, a fact of life.

The Times building is still there, except it’s not the Times building anymore. It’s been sold off and sliced up, and the top two floors are presently occupied by Snapchat, while the bottom two were bought by Kushner Companies, the family business of Jared Kushner, son-in-law extraordinaire of Donald J. Trump. A few blocks—but more like a century—away from that old building, Sulzberger sits in his office in the newish glass-and-steel-lattice-encased headquarters of the Times. He looks the picture of a young tech executive—close-cropped hair, tortoiseshell glasses, considered stubble—and I ask him point-blank if he worries about whether The New York Times will ever cease to be a fact of life. “No,” he says, equally point-blank, which is exactly the party line one expects to hear from the deputy publisher of the Times—a recent appointment that put him next in line to lead the paper when the current publisher and chair, his father, retires. But there could be another reason for his confidence. Sulzberger, like more than three dozen other executives and journalists I interviewed and shadowed at the Times, is working on the biggest strategic shift in the paper’s 165-year history, and he believes it will strengthen its bottom line, enhance the quality of its journalism, and secure a long and lasting future.

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2 Comments

  1. In the article in “The New York Times Claws Its Way Into The Future” by Gabriel Snyder he discusses how The New York Times is here to stay and adapting. I completely agree they are adapting. When the internet came out and news on the internet become more common. The newspaper industry suffered the most. The way the New York Times is adapting is in the correct direction by creating an online presence. They have lost lot of revenue due to the internet but the way they are pushing it might bounce back. With online digital advertising and pushing for subscriptions they are looking to bounce back. Digital revenue and advertising in this is becoming common for business and social media and The New York Times is definitely going to take advantage of that. With subscriptions I think this is great way to keep up too. Especially if they are pushing to keep fake news out. Recently they are now looking to pass laws against fake news and this is already important to the New York Times in preventing this. The New York Times is also adapting with social media platforms by postings. On Snapchat they have a story which consists of their stories and articles. This is great because millennials use Snapchat all the time. Personally, I sometimes look at Snapchat stories like this because they are brief and to the point and tell the important parts. With The New York times being on here they will prevent fake news. The New York Times also has Facebook and other social media platforms which help promote their stories and subscriptions and generate revenue of advertisements.

  2. Convenience is a very important factor for most things in our lives. This idea of convenience is something that “The New York Times” has been pursuing ever since the influx of technology devices in the average home. The entire journalism industry is constantly faced with the question of “how do we add to our consumer base in this new age of tech?”. But, how journalism companies such as the New York Times do this is reasonably difficult.
    Moving to a digital platform is a move in the right direction for many of these news outlets. I personally, cannot remember the last time I read or heard about breaking news not using a laptop, tv or radio. In addition, I know for many other millennials the same fact may hold true. News outlets like The New York Times are building digital presence is a strong manner, predominately through online subscriptions. This means their customers get to use their site, article database, news videos and more as much as they want through a monthly flat rate similar to how they use Netflix. The advantages and eases of subscription services are plentiful and are partially why so many large businesses turn to such an idea. In addition, the New York Times, like Google is taking advantage of targeted advertisements to provide consumers with specific ad’s relevant to their interests and searches. Making the clicking and time spent on their site greatly increased. However, what the Times is learning is that these simple changes are not enough to increase and promote their digital presence.
    News sources are learning to stray away from their old normative attitudes, and open up to new ideals that include more than just straight to the point news. This means building a connection with consumers in different ways. Building a new modern culture through humor and meme’s (a viral internet sensation) is what the Times began to do. The New York Times began to create memes but also incorporate these viral trends into politics, debates and other topics that interested young adults. These meme’s have so much social power that people actually voted for a meme through write in ballots for the 2016 presidential election. Social trends like memes do seem ridiculous and just as a joke, but they are allowing companies to connect with generations of people they may not normally get to. Such connections are getting them more consumers yes, but they are also increasing their digital presence as well. Adapting to the future in such ways will allow companies to prevent going under without losing their core values at the same time. Adding trendy ideas or humor is just a way for an organization to build a human connection even if their news is predominately read online.

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