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Newspaper Columnist Says Newspapers are Dead

DavidCarrHeadshotWell this is certainly depressing. David Carr, the well-known and respected New York Times media columnist, has seen his future and it is grim. In his latest piece — published in a newspaper — Carr proclaims that newspapers are dead.

Carr cites the recent trend of companies — like News Corp., Time Warner, Gannett and Tribune Company — spinning off their print brands and sending them into the unknown abyss as an indicator of print’s health.

He’s right; it’s not looking good. But we’d stop short of the dire tone taken by Carr:

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Mark Aldam, President of Hearst Newspapers on the Future of Print

Mark-Aldam-ArticleMark Aldam, president of Hearst Newspapers, has been working in the field of print journalism for close to 30 years. He has seen the changing media landscape firsthand and has some ideas on how to keep print afloat.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Aldam explains how Hearst differs from its competitors (such as News Corp., Tribune, Gannett), what most excites him about the newspaper business and why print isn’t dying:

I think there’s obviously some truth to the concern about the printed newspaper’s future given just the relationship between print ads and the size of the paper that most publishers produce. But my first response is: I believe that the printed newspaper will be around long enough to print our obituaries. I think the newspapers that have responded to where consumers demand to access news and information — which is in their palm, and on their desktops and tablets — I think we stand a very good chance of being an influential part of the community…

For more from Aldam, including what his typical day is like, read: So What Do You Do, Mark Aldam, President of Hearst Newspapers?

NY Times Launches Enhanced Archive Search

Subscribers to The New York Times can now search 129 years worth of the Grey Lady. The paper has launched TimesMachine, an interactive archive search tool that allows readers to dig through 11,298,320 articles that were published between September 18, 1851 and December 31, 1980.

In connection with TimesMachine, the Times has launched the NYTArchives Twitter account, which posts interesting articles from throughout the paper’s history.

While using TimesMachine to view coverage of big events — such as the “awful event” that was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — is great, what’s really fun is searching for specific terms.

For example, a quick search for “O’Shea” brought up an article from 1906 that was headlined “Irishmen and Genius.” Even way back then, the Times featured stunningly accurate journalism.

Tabloids Do Their Best with Ebola Scare

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The Ebola outbreak is good news for the city’s tabloids. All it took was a man being tested for the disease at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan for the New York Post and New York Daily News to crank up the fear machine.

We have to give the win to the Post, who simply decided to yell “Ebola!” at readers. No need for getting creative, just shout and hope for panic.

The Daily News, meanwhile, fell short by admitting what the hospital’s officials and CDC said: That the man likely didn’t have the disease. When it comes to fear mongering, the worst thing you can do is give facts.

New York Times Amends Carol Vogel Article

NYTEditorsNoteLogoThe first paragraph of Carol Vogel‘s July 25 New York Times article no longer reads like this. The text has been amended and the following Editors’ Note has been added at the bottom:

Editors’ Note: July 30, 2014
The Inside Art column on July 25, about a planned exhibition of the works of the Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo, started with a description of the artist’s life and eccentricities. That passage improperly used specific language and details from a Wikipedia article without attribution; it should not have been published in that form. (Editors learned of the problem after publication from a post on FishbowlNY.)

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NY Times Changes Dining Section to ‘Food’

NY Times logo GThe New York Times is making some changes to its Dining section — specifically, it is being renamed “Food” and will be edited by Sam Sifton. Food staffers will also be combined with staffers working on the NYT Cooking site and (yet to be released) app.

Assisting Sifton will be Susan Edgerley, serving as the Food section’s deputy editor.

“The Times has long been a leader in covering all aspects of food and dining,” wrote Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times, in the memo announcing the news. “The launch of the new Cooking app, along with combining the newsroom’s editing and reporting talent in one team under the direction of Sam and with Susan’s editorial and managerial help, will enhance our coverage and make it even more delightful and useful for readers.”

You can read Baquet’s full note below.

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Newspapers Lost 1,300 Editorial Staffers in 2013

ShutterstockNewspaperStack_FeaturedAccording to The American Society of News Editors’ annual census, newspapers are more diverse despite losing three percent of newsroom staff.

Overall, there were about 36,700 full-time journalists employed at roughly 1,400 papers in 2013. That’s represents a 1,300-person decline, from 38,000 in 2012. Of those journalists, about 4,900 (13 percent) are racial and ethnic minorities. That’s a 200-person increase from 2012.

“Producing the employment census each year is a significant effort on the part of ASNE, but as the leaders of America’s newsrooms, we feel it’s essential to keep this data front and center,” said ASNE President David Boardman, in a statement. ”We remain committed to doing all we can to help our newsrooms, and our news reports, better reflect the diverse nature of the communities we cover.”

NY Times Profits Plummet 21 Percent

As usual, the New York Times’ earnings report features both good and bad news (we suppose that pun is intended). While the Times’ digital subscriptions continued to grow, the lack of print ad dollars weighed the paper down. The end result was a 21 percent drop in profits during the second quarter.

The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers during the second quarter, bringing its total to 831,000 — a number that should make staffers proud. Still, total revenue dropped by 0.6 percent, mainly due to a four percent decline in ad revenue. Net income also declined from $20 million in 2013′s second quarter, to just $9 million this quarter.

“We saw continued growth in digital advertising and circulation revenues during the quarter,” Mark Thompson, CEO of the Times Company, said in a statement. “But know that we still have more work to do to transform our business and deliver long-term sustainable revenue growth for the company.”

Michael Wolff: NY Times Should Buy CNN

CNN304x200Michael Wolff has an interesting take on who/what should buy CNN should it ever be up for sale: The New York Times. Well, Wolff wrote that the “most obvious buyer is CBS,” but his runner-up is the Gray Lady.

Before you laugh this off, it’s actually an interesting idea. Wolff says the partnership would benefit both brands. The Times would gain the much needed ad dollars that come with TV. Meanwhile, CNN will finally be seen as a respectable news company if it has to maintain the standards set by the Times.

“In that combination, news, increasingly devolving from platform specificity, takes a major leap forward by creating a quality news company widely distributing its product through all outlets,” explained Wolff. “Television can’t do quality news, but it has great profits. Print still has high news standards, but ever-dwindling profits — so voila!”

Voila! Now let’s make this happen.

NY Times Supports Legal Weed, But Won’t Let Staffers Toke

NYtimes buildingTalk about a buzz kill, brother bear. Over the weekend, The New York Times declared that it supported the complete decriminalization of marijuana, and yet, it won’t let employees share a bong in the newsroom.

A Times spokesperson told The Huffington Post that potential employees will still be required to pass a drug test before getting hired. “Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law,” said the spokesperson. “We aren’t going to get into details beyond that.”

In a series of editorials, the Times said that pot should be legalized — just like tobacco and alcohol — and states should be responsible for making the call:

There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

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