Newspapers are dying, magazines are closing and more journalists are finding themselves without paying gigs every day. Everyone is wondering: what does the future hold for the media? We brought the questions to the front lines, asking leaders in the field to tell us: what’s next?
Print newspapers have been hit particularly hard during the recession, thanks to dwindling ad sales, bloated staffs and high printing costs. The scene is set for online newspapers and magazines to take over where these print publications can no longer serve their audiences. Enter Sam Apple, the founder of the recently launched Faster Times, which is taking a new approach to online newspapers. The Web site has a unique model for paying its writers, which operate as a kind of collective, Apple said. “Our goal to produce an online newspaper that is very fast, very smart, and very funny,” he added.
Apple, who is also the author of the recently published parenting tome/memoir “American Parent,” spoke to FishbowlNY about what makes his venture unique and how he’s going to make it successful.
FishbowlNY: What do you consider The Faster Times’ competitors? How is your site different from them?
Sam Apple: Well, we’re certainly not yet in the same league with respect to traffic, but we hope to compete with sites like The Huffington Post and Daily Beast. We’re probably more similar to Huff Post than Daily Beast, but we have a fairly different structure and also I think a somewhat different sensibility. While we have both original articles
and aggregated links, we’ve divided the site into over 100 subsections, or topics, and have only one correspondent on each specific topic. So, for example, in our World section, we have one writer in over 20 countries around the world. In our Food section, we have Melissa Clark on “snacking” and David Wondrich on “drinking”…
With respect to sensibility, I think we have a somewhat more zany approach. Our Travel section is about to add a “Time Travel,” correspondent, for example. We also have a Nonsense section which includes a bathrooms correspondent and another writer covering feet.