Monday, June 16, 2014

Quality journalism will continue to matter.

This is in reaction to an article on something called Baekdal entitled "Strategic Insights: What if Quality Journalism isn't?," written by Thomas Baekdal ("Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate."). He discusses the leaked Innovation Report from The New York Times. He makes some very good points.  His main one is that he's not buying their commitment to their view of journalism.
However, The New York Times then goes on to make exactly the same mistake as the rest of industry. They absolutely and totally refuse to even consider a change in their editorial focus.
But let me ask you this. If The NYT is 'winning at journalism', why is its readership falling significantly? If their daily report is smart and engaging, why are they failing to get its journalism to its readers?

My response:

This is an important article, but I disagree with your conclusions. The graph near the top of this article shows a dramatic decline in views of the home page, but little change in time spent. This reflects the increasing tendency of readers to go directly to a story that interests them (most often, from social media). Coherency (for the reader) comes not from the Times (or any other source) but from the way that reader has chosen to learn about news. I believe that as what matters is more and more the time that a reader spends on specific articles of interest and less and less anything else, the Times will ultimately succeed. It will do well because it has foreign correspondents, reporters with real expertise, in-depth analyses, standards and fact checkers.  As choice becomes easier and easier, many will choose quality. I do.