Thursday, 14 March 2013
NYTimes source: "complete utter panic"
What is happening at the New York Times? If you believe one source quoted in a recent Media Post article, it's all out war - Print vs. Online:
One source close to the Times Co. paints the for-pay service as one step in the direction of making the Times' entire content well for-pay, similar to Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal Online, which charges for nearly all access to its content. The source says that the integration between print and online was driven by the print side of the Times, which was making a "hostile takeover" of the Web out of panic that online was eating into print circulation.
"Online newspapers will eventually be online products for a price, and online magazines will be online for a subscription price," the source explains. "Print will be a luxury item. But I don't think we're there yet. What's driving this is panic on the print side. This is not being done to help the online side. This is complete, utter panic on the print side. Their circulation is dropping, the stock is dropping, they're seeing competition from every other medium."
Can this be true? Murdoch stated in April 2005 that the most difficult part of the Internet revolution will be the transformation of the minds, not the technology. Maybe this is denial in the print newsroom rearing its ugly head. But it fells more like someone sticking their head in the sand and hoping everything will go back to 1940...the good 'ol days.
Meanwhile readers of the Buzz Machine see things quite differently:
"This business of pureeing trees and wringing cuttlefish to make the day’s transient news permanent seems positively archaic, doesn’t it?"
It’s a product you have to go and get in the rain, snow or wind and pull out of the hedge, the leaves or a coin-eating box on a dirty street corner. It’s heavy. It’s big. You’re not interested in 90% of its content. And when you’re done with it, you — literally — have to wash your hands and figure out how to properly dispose of the thing.