NYT editor predicts almost all newspapers will die in 5 years

Cale Guthrie Weissman reports for Fast Company, “New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet has a bleak forecast for the future of print media. Late last week at the International News Media Association World Congress, the editor spoke about the state of journalism, the world, and the newspaper he runs.”

Weissman reports, “When asked about the future of newspapers, the executive editor said: ‘The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news… I don’t know what the answer is. Their economic model is gone. I think most local newspapers in America are going to die in the next five years, except for the ones that have been bought by a local billionaire.'”

“A recent Pew Research report found that, despite the fact that most Americans believe local news organizations to be doing well, very few are actually paying for those subscriptions,” Weissman reports. “And while print advertising continues to plummet, more small outlets are shutting down.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That sounds like a solid prediction. The only people in our neighborhoods who still get physical newspapers (which are all about 1/4th the size they were when we last read one before the turn of the century) are 75+ years old.

18 Comments

  1. Bear in mind said editorial staff is now largely comprised of millennials that just discovered what their belly-button is and believe that software is a ‘pet’. This may be true for the NYT (millennials are also great at projecting their personal experiences onto humanity at large), and rag that it’s become, Godspeed to its demise. Sorry kids, but you are going to have to share the earth with the olds (who still outnumber you collectively, FYI) for at least another four or five decades. Perhaps their editorial staff should spend a little more time reflecting on why people are abandoning their sh***y paper instead, but, oh, that’s right: that would require a modicum of self-awareness.

    1. Hahahahaha ~ What a curmudgeon. Lots of factual problems in your (oddly parenthetical-laden) diatribe, including the fact that the NYT is doing just fine financially. The statement is about “local” journalism. I’d like to also comment on your issue with millennials but I’m having a hard time considering it makes such little sense in this context.

      1. Exactly. The national papers are doing just fine, as are many national magazines. In big cities, there are suburban papers to reprint government press releases and promote local businesses. There is hardly any investigative local print journalism anywhere. If a scandal isn’t picked up by a television station (and they rarely go outside the central city in their market), nobody will ever hear about it. That removes a key check on state and oligarchical power that the Founders regarded as crucial to maintaining our Republic.

        1. “The national papers are doing just fine, as are many national magazines.”

          Please post circulation numbers to prove your OPINION because you are WRONG.

          USA TODAY in the 1990s was the largest circulation newspaper in the free world. If I remember correctly it was around 2.5 million subscribers.

          According to a Google search USAT circulation is now 1,817,446. Not good and not doing well as you opined. What you did not mention is the size of the physical newspaper back then and what it is now for a higher price. Simple answer, three times the number of pages back then, much slimmer now.

          The New York Times at the time was around two million or more, as well as The Wall Street Journal. Again, if I remember my numbers correctly. Today NYT circulation 571,500 Daily and 1,087,500 Sunday according to a Google search.

          I won’t even get into the declining print circulation of news magazines like Time, Newsweek FOLDED, U.S. & World Report FOLDED. Your false opinions, again.

          Certainly, I don’t SUBSCRIBE to your liberal media cheerleading opinions, minus facts…

    1. Precisely why I actually do subscribe and read local and national newspapers. If I just wanted an endless circle jerk of opinion and regurgitation I’d turn on the tv or the radio.

  2. I own two weeklies. I give them my heart, my soul and most of my waking moments (and often my dreams and nightmares, too.)

    He’s right. Even the people who you think are your customers no longer are, as there’s only so much time in a day and that which we consume as mind snacks all day is as a child who spoils his dinner only to be steadily malnourished and unhealthy.

    Anyone who takes smug joy in this fact knows not what he has done to his local government and recorded history. Is that overly dramatic? I don’t think so, particularly in a smaller market.

    I really believe my broken heart over the apathy of modern consumers will be short-lived when faced with the utter chaos that follows soon after.

    The newspaper business model takes will to work anymore, because as it turns out it now flies in the face of human nature. I’ll lose all my capital before I lose my will to continue. Proudly and sadly simultaneously.

  3. This industry is dying partially because of the obvious lack of truth in reporting, not so much the medium itself. Though they’re is no doubt that the Internet and digital publication is having an effect.

    The other part is the the young are not learning to read, public schools are failing miserably in many places to teach kids to read properly.

    So newspapers will ultimately suffer first because some lied to millennial thinks that the tree you cut to make the paper is destroying their planet, and then they couldn’t read or understand the news.. which probably was fiction in the first place.

    1. Media used to be owned by different people across the country made for a wide range of opinions what would be covered more people would run down the story, not any more. Truth has nothing to do with someone running down the story.

    1. Omg….. should I even be surprised how many commentators here don’t understand the difference between local print journalism and the medium it arrives to consumers? I subscribe to 3 papers and I’ve never physically had paper arrive at my house, ever.

  4. Today most if not all new media is owned by corporations. They learned that instead of silencing the message (news media), it is much more valuable to control the message.

    1. I would venture a guess ALL newspapers tax filing status consist of one corporation or another. Particularly appealing is LLC for legal protections.

      But I have to point out coming from a liberal, you are inferring the sanctimonious evil corporations are not paying their fair share and manipulating readers. Glad to address those two points:

      1- They are most certainly paying their fair share of federal, state and local taxes following established tax law. If not, imagine the headlines from rivals and threat of going out of business.

      2- They are indeed manipulating readers but not in the way you are inferring like the rest of your party, aka citing greedy Republican owners.

      Whether they are Republican or Democrat owners of newspaper corporations, read carefully and pay attention, they are losing money and subscribers by the fistful.

      You and your fellow leftists responding on this thread don’t understand the complete picture.

      Newspapers are dying mainly because the core base of subscribers, aka the older generation, is passing. The younger generations for the most part are not buying newspapers and if they read news at all it is not in a dead tree daily purchase.

      What I have not read here is the discussion of media bias. It is a FACT 85-90%+ of newspaper newsroom employees are registered with the Democratic Party.

      Final thought. We have the biased liberal media turning off the older lifelong subscribers that vote and trend conservative while the youngsters on social media could not care less…

  5. In central Florida, the local papers are in dire need of subscribers. Free doesn’t pay for investigative reporting. Our politicians are among the worse. If there is no one spotlighting their misdeeds then we are truly lost.

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