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Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

NY Times’ Dean Baquet: ‘I Think We’ll Survive’

Dean Baquet GDean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, isn’t worried about the future of the paper. In a conversation with the Times’ David Carr, Baquet explained that as long as the paper provided vital information to smart people, all will be well.

“I’m actually not that worried about the future of the New York Times,” Baquet said, according to Capital New York. “If you produce a news product that is worthwhile and worth saving, which is my goal, I think we’ll be fine. I think it will be tough, but… as long as we are essential, I think we’ll survive.”

To that end, Baquet cited the Times’ coverage of the gruesome — yet newsworthy — ISIS beheading videos. “We do have to cover these things,” he said. “I can’t get away with saying, we’re not gonna cover these wars because they’re too dangerous. But it’s really hard. And that decision is not about making a buck or being competitive, it’s about the role a news organization like the New York Times plays in society.”

We agree with Baquet that the Times will persevere. It’s the best paper in the world. But it’s not hard to imagine that one day it will be a digital-only product. That future is just farther away for the Times than most other papers.

NY Times Public Editor to Deliver CUNY J-School Commencement

MargaretSullivanHeadshotThis will be a great speech. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times’ public editor, will serve as the commencement speaker at CUNY’s graduate school of journalism on December 19.

Sullivan has only been with the Times since 2012, but in that short amount of time she has established herself as one of the paper’s best public editors.

“We’re delighted to have such a thought-provoking journalist, one who is constantly wrestling with the thorniest issues of journalistic ethics and integrity, addressing our graduates as they enter the field of professional reporting,” said CUNY Dean Sarah Bartlett, in a statement.

NY Times Has 1,700 Obituaries for ‘Pre-Dead’

NYtimes buildingAnyone interested in morbid news will appreciate The New York Times pulling back the curtain on its obituaries desk.

According to Margalit Fox, the Times currently has about 1,700 obits for “pre-dead” people on file, ranging from a few hundred words (if you were boring) to more than 10 thousand (if you were rich).

Unsurprisingly, Fox writes that one of the most uncomfortable aspects of preparing obits is interviewing people who the Times deems close to death:

One of the most stressful aspects of reporting an advance entails, when feasible, telephoning its pre-dead subject for an interview. This is one of the stranger social predicaments in human experience and, trust me, there is nothing in Emily Post to cover it. The midcentury Timesman Alden Whitman, an obituary writer famous for sitting down with his subjects in advance, favored tender circumlocutions on the order of, “We’re updating your biographical file” and “This is for possible future use.” I have used both with a fair margin of success.

Another approach we’d suggest: “Hi, this is Margalit Fox with the New York Times. You’re probably about to croak. Any comment?”

NY Times Refuses to Endorse Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo GThe New York Times doesn’t care for either candidate in next month’s Democratic primary. The Times’ editorial board explained that it wasn’t endorsing a candidate because Andrew Cuomo hadn’t done enough to stop corruption, and his rival, Zephyr Teachout, doesn’t have the experience required.

As for Cuomo, the Times said that his first campaign promise was to “clean up Albany,” and he failed miserably:

Mr. Cuomo became governor on that platform and recorded several impressive achievements, but he failed to perform Job 1. The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it. Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.

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NY Times Revamps Crossword Feature

One way the New York Times can attract new customers is by tempting people (well, at least the smarter ones) with a revamped Crossword feature. Recently the Times announced a free, mini crossword app for iOs devices. Now it is looking for people to pay up with an update to New York Times Crossword.

The new Crossword has a fresh, clean look and comes with “play anywhere” capabilities, meaning if you start a puzzle on your phone, you can complete it on your computer or iPad. Or tell your friends you finished it even though you didn’t (Hint: a three letter word for automobile is “car”). There’s also an archive of 18 years of puzzles to drive you mad.

New York Times Crossword is available for $39.99 per year or $6.99 per month. New subscribers and digital subscribers to the Times get it for about half that price.

NY Times Digital Subcription Growth Slows

NYtimes buildingThe New York Times’ paywall is now three years old. For most of that time, digital subscriptions grew at a healthy pace. However, according to Recode, there are signs that things are slowing down.

In June, the Times reported that it had added 32,000 digital subscriptions during the second quarter, bringing its total to about 831,000. That’s a solid number.

Unless, of course, those new subscribers were lured by new apps like NYT Now, and the Times has already hit its subscriber ceiling:

There could be some cannibalization from the new app, of course, but even if all 32,000 were for the main digital subscription (which costs $15 to $35 depending on how many devices you want to use), that would still fall short of the previous two quarters when the Times averaged 36,000 new subscribers.

If the Times has truly tapped every customer who will pay for its content, there could be rough waters ahead. As with any print product, the execs at the paper will need to figure out new revenue streams to avoid getting shipwrecked.

NY Times Reporter Ordered to Leave Afghanistan

Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, the attorney general of Afghanistan, is not pleased with New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg. Aloko ordered Rosenberg out of Afghanistan and banned him from returning to country after Rosenberg’s article about its elections ran in yesterday’s Times.

Rosenberg’s piece made the case that high-ranking Afghan government officials were essentially considering forming a coup. That didn’t sit well with Aloko, who claimed Rosenberg’s work was an “article that is considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan.”

“The Attorney General decided that Matthew Rosenberg should leave the country within the next 24 hours and he will not be allowed to re-enter the country,” continued the letter.

Despite Aloko’s demands, Rosenberg reamins unfazed:

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NY Times Names Alex MacCallum Assistant Managing Editor

NYtimes buildingThe New York Times has named Alex MacCallum assistant managing editor for audience development. MacCallum was most recently a business side exec overseeing NYT Cooking, the Times’ cooking site and app.

According to a memo from executive editor Dean Baquet and editorial page Andy Rosenthal, in her new role, MacCallum will ”build a team devoted to using search, social and other strategies to draw more people to our news articles and editorials.”

“The Audience Development department will be a shared resource, like photography, video and news design,” added Baquet and Rosenthal. “She will start sometime in September and will be making the rounds of news and editorial to meet all of you. Obviously, more changes are in the offing for the newsroom’s masthead, and this is a big step toward bringing in more editors with deep digital experience.”

Baquet and Rosenthal’s full memo is below.

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Maureen Dowd Joins NY Times Mag

maureen dowd GMaureen Dowd, who has been with The New York Times since 1983, has a new gig at the paper: Staff writer for its magazine. Dowd will continue to pen her weekly op-ed column, a staple of the paper since 1995.

In a statement, Jake Silverstein, the Times Magazine’s editor, said Dowd was “a brilliant addition to our team.” “While I can’t disclose any specific assignments yet, I can reveal that Maureen’s subject matter for the magazine will range far afield from her current bailiwick of politics, foreign affairs, Hollywood, and edible marijuana,” added Silverstein.

Andy Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the Times said, “Maureen’s influence on our Op-Ed page can’t be overstated and I’m very happy that our readers will continue to hear her timely take on whatever the hot issue of the moment happens to be.”

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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