The Trump administration’s combative view of traditional news media as the “opposition party” and “fake news” is turning out to be the best hope in 2017 for newspapers struggling to attract more digital readers and advertisers. Fred Katayama reports.
(Reuters) – New York resident Indra Gandy is one of many readers who recently signed up for the the New York Times.
“Actually, this is not the first time I had a subscription. The other time I had a subscription was during 9/11 when, you know, we had a hard time communicating through phones right away. And the reliable source was The New York Times for me at the time, as well as other magazines that I had. So, I think, it’s very important to have something that you can rely on at the moment from people who are dedicating themselves to put this newspaper out. Plus, it’s practicing my freedom of speech.”
The Trump administration’s combative view of the traditional news media as the “opposition party” and “fake news” has turned out to be good news for newspapers struggling to attract more digital readers and advertisers.
The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Gannett are building readership by marketing unbiased reporting as a sales strategy. And it’s working. Digital subscriptions have risen 12 percent at the Journal in the latest quarter, 21 percent at the New York Times, and 26 percent at USA Today Network.
New York Times CEO Mark Thompson:
THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MARK THOMPSON,
“The internet is full of misinformation and outright lies, it’s famously fake news is part of the Internet. So, I think, the idea that people should want to hear about authoritative news sources and turn to those news sources makes sense to me.”
The risk, analysts say, is whether those new readers will attract advertising dollars to the newspapers, some of which have been criticized for having political leanings. A survey by the PR firm Edelman of more than 33,000 people in 28 countries shows trust in the media is at an all-time low at just 35 percent.