The New York Times' Identity Crisis

By: Michael Wolff | The Guardian

A painful rift is developing between editors and executives over a new vision of the newspaper as a distributor of digital 'product'.

The media business used to be organized around forms and genres. Books, newspapers, films. Fiction, non-fiction, news, drama. The more current way of thinking is to see the business as a catalogue of "products".

This is not just marketing speak – as in, calling a magazine "our product" – but an effort to acknowledge a new, on demand, a la carte world; one that does not involve additional distribution costs.

The business mantra at the New York Times, causing many shudders in the newsroom, is that the future is all about the development of these new products, which both existing subscribers and a new audience – not necessarily interested in subscribing to the Times – might well pay for.


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