Newsonomics: 11 questions the news business is trying to answer in 2018

No, the saga of the Los Angeles Times isn’t the only story in the newspaper world. It’s just that in its breathtaking oddness, it consumed the beginning of our year. Let’s begin with one question about the future of the Times, but then move on to other early-in-the-year questions that may tell us lots more about the business-of-news year ahead.

What’s at the top of PSS’s to-do list?

It’s been a week of almost eerie quiet in L.A., as the reality of new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong sinks in. The Guild’s elected its local leadership and the L.A. Times newsroom sees that it barely dodged the bullet of major Tronc reorganization. Tronc announced Tuesday that it would concentrate all page makeup and design in Chicago, following the centralization models now becoming standard among chains, with GateHouse the
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NYT Employees Reportedly Vented About Company in Leaked Chat Messages: ‘Obsessed With Poaching Stars’

It looks like New York Times opinion writer and staff editor Bari Weiss is still dealing with the fallout over a tweet about U.S. Olympic skater Mirai Nagasu, in which Weiss labeled Nagasu an immigrant despite her being born in California.  Many NYT employees do not participate in social media, due to the company’s strict guidelines on the matter. Therefore, they did not get to weigh in on Weiss’s tweet and her subsequent refusal to acknowledge that it may have been, for lack of a better word, wrongheaded. These employees, however, do have access to chat services, such as intra-office stalwart Slack. The Huffington Post’s Ashley Feinberg got ahold of some of Tuesday’s chat transcripts, shining a light on what some of The Gray Lady’s staffers think about the hiring of Weiss, her tweet and the editorial direction of the newspaper, among other sensitive topics (names were redacted). “I Continue reading "NYT Employees Reportedly Vented About Company in Leaked Chat Messages: ‘Obsessed With Poaching Stars’"

Today, Explained, explained: Vox enters the daily news podcast race with a comma-happy, personality-driven show

  • The choice to target the evening commute is a really, really smart one. I’ve argued this before, but I think it’s safe to assume that there might be considerable overlap between the audiences of The New York Times and Vox.com. As such, a move to complement The Daily is significantly more prudent than engaging it as a direct competitor. In any case, even if the overlap was small, the evening commute remains untapped by the daily news podcast to begin with — aside from Mike Pesca’s The Gist, of course, which isn’t really playing the same game anyway. It’s a safer, and therefore more reliable, base to build from, and besides, Today, Explained could always expand with an a.m. version at some point in the future. (Same goes with The Daily and a p.m. version, a prospect that it has previously explored with breaking news specials.
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New York Times CEO: Our Print Journalism Has At Least 10 Years Left

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said that the paper’s world famous print edition has about a decade of life left. Appearing on CNBC’s Power Lunch on Monday, Thompson said “we have a great print platform,” noting that “there may come a point when the economics of that no longer make sense for us.” He emphasized the company will focus on building up the digital business: “Our plan is to go on serving our loyal print subscribers as long as we can. But meanwhile to build up the digital business, so that we have a successful growing company and a successful news operation long after print is gone.” Thompson also noted that the Times makes more money on print subscribers than digital, but that there’s a broader potential to grow the digital subscription base. “The point about digital is that we believe we can grow many, many more Continue reading "New York Times CEO: Our Print Journalism Has At Least 10 Years Left"

New York Times Savaged For Article Praising Kim Yo-jong: ‘Her Brother Runs Concentration Camps’

In response to a New York Times article that appeared to heap praise upon Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-jong, Twitter pounced on the newspaper by claiming they are endorsing a brutal, authoritarian regime. The article, headlined “Kim Jong-un’s Sister Turns on the Charm, Taking Pence’s Spotlight,” stated the following:
“When the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, decided to send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month, the world feared he might steal the show. If that was indeed his intention, he could not have chosen a better emissary than the one he sent: his only sister, Kim Yo-jong, whom news outlets in the South instantly dubbed ‘North Korea’s Ivanka,’ likening her influence to that of Ivanka Trump on her father, President Trump.”
The Times was met with intense criticism from many on Twitter, as members of the media — most of which are
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With its new Olympics texting experiment, the Times is saying goodbye to SMS, hello to personalization

The New York Times isn’t giving up on its ambition to use text messaging to communicate directly with readers — but it is switching up the tech that it uses to do so. Dating back to the Summer Olympics in 2016, the Times has used the scale of the games to experiment with using direct messaging to let its reporters and editors communicate with readers. Its latest project brings it to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where journalist Sam Manchester will cover the Winter Olympics that officially opened today, with results, photos, and behind-the-scenes coverage. The idea behind the South Korea project, as with the Times’ previous experiments, is to use conversational interfaces to create a more intimate, personal experience with readers. The latest experiment will attempt to deepen those relationships further with new backend personalization features designed to connect readers with coverage that they care about. That’s thanks to a Continue reading "With its new Olympics texting experiment, the Times is saying goodbye to SMS, hello to personalization"