For the NYT, a future of more multimedia and more Trump
January 17, 2017
One of the questions facing print has long been, “what will the future of newspapers look like?”
Many papers, it seems, have been content to wait for the answer to hit them square in the jaw in the form of layoffs, declining circulation and lower ad revenue.
Others are at least attempting to chart their courses proactively, despite the fact that there are so many uncertainties. The New York Times is in that latter camp.
In 2014, the paper put together an in-depth strategic plan looking to the future and laying out what had to be done better. It was a dense read, at 100 pages.
Now seven NYT journalists have updated that plan, adding some new wrinkles and making new suggestions for the digital future.
Bracing for the years ahead
It says the paper has to adapt to the digital age faster (no surprise), in part by improving training and moving beyond traditional print concepts still seen in the bones of the paper’s infrastructure.
The earlier report set a goal of $800 million in annual digital revenue by 2020, which the new one sees as attainable.
Interestingly, the document clearly shows the overarching aim is to increase subscribers, mainly digital but in print too, rather than spark pageviews. That’s worth noting since The Washington Post, one of The Times’ main rivals, seems more interested in the latter of late.
Among the most notable suggestions:
* Devoting $5 million to covering the impact soon-to-be-president Donald Trump will have on the world.
* Making the print and digital products more distinct.
* Reducing line-editing, which it suggests is repetitive and squelches creativity in writers.
* Adding a dozen visual journalists, who will focus on multimedia storytelling.
* Increasing diversity, which remains a sore spot.
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