Archive for the ‘New York Times’ Tag

Why the New York Times Should Stop Selling the News…

I’m sorry to everyone for being away from a while… I am writing some new research on product launches and studying for my graduate school exams, so I haven’t had the time to keep this up-to-date.

However, I am still posting sporadically on my Quoting Tumblog and updating my favorite news stories in this blog’s sidebar.

That said, the New York Times continuing poor financial performance has led many to discuss new business strategies for the firm. Since I am a loyal Times reader and do not want to see it disappear, I want to add my two cents from a product perspective…

The New York Times should (slowly) refocus it’s business away from providing the news. Why? Because the NYT’s competitive advantage lies in its opinion editorials.

Two elements make a good news story…

  1. What you cover, and
  2. How you cover it.

The “what” includes the key facts of the story, while the “how” involves the discussion and insight the author adds. Both elements are important to any news story, but they are not mutually-exclusive.

The “what you cover” is easy, and everyone with access to a computer (or even a mobile phone) and a blog account can cover the news. Therefore, the leaders in the news are the people who can get it to you the fastest. With all of the bureaucracy and editorial barriers baked into a newspaper, the Times will never be the first out of the gate. Their publishing cadence could never be as quick as the 24-7 news stations, bloggers, and services like Twitter and Outside.In.

The newspaper is not the best way to get late-breaking news stories. A few months back, there were rumors around my office that a fire has closed DC’s metro lines, and some people were trapped in between stations. To see what was happening, I search “red line fire” on Summize (now Twitter Search) to see if anyone was tweeting about it. Sure enough, some people were talking about the fire and linking to a few relevant sources.

By the time I knew what had caused the fire, it was 9am that morning. A newspaper couldn’t have published this story until the next day, or at the earliest on the web, a hour or two after the incident. Because I tracked the events in real-time, I wouldn’t want to hear the facts while reading the next day’s headlines.

If the NYT is going to be a day late in recapping a story, they must give you a little bit more than just the facts. This is why we still read the NYT today… not for the headlines, but for Thomas Freedman, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, and many others.

Very few news sources provide the consistent level of insight as the New York Times, and this paper’s voice is important to educating and informing the public. From a financial perspective, I agree with Silicon Alley Insider’s analysis, but from a content perspective, the paper should focus its limited resources on giving readers the opinion editorials we all love.

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Really, conservatives?!

I used to identify myself as a conservative. Growing up, I studied the ideas of limited government and personal choice, which I considered to be the pillars of the conservative movement.

However, when I read articles like this in The Slate, I’m reminded why I’ve stopped calling myself a conservative. Here is the money quote:

From the National Review to NewsBusters and InstaPundit, some of the country’s most prominent conservative opinion journals and news sites have published stories and blog posts denouncing Google for subtly pushing a liberal worldview in its doodles (that appear within the company’s search engine logo) while steadfastly refusing to commemorate patriotic or religious holidays.

Conservatives have moved away from the rational views of freedom. They now judge the values and beliefs of a society. I have a problem with this way of thinking… beliefs are so subjective and personal, and I’ve meet plenty of good people that have varying belief structures, regarding subjects that include religion and politics.

As a result, I care less about what a person believes… what’s most important is why a person chooses those beliefs. Since conservatives seem to insinuate “believe in our values, or you’re against us”, I can no longer associate myself with conservatives.

And, I totally understand that this isn’t endemic of conservatives. I’m not calling myself a liberal, either. Extremists on both sides of the coin make stupid proclamations.

That said, I wouldn’t expect the National Review to publish stuff this myopic, as I wouldn’t expect the New York Times to take a blanketed swipe at Christianity.

In the end, arguments like the ones made against Google aren’t about finding truth… they’re meant to further careers of biased, opinionated journalists.