And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
– Matthew 13:42
Buzzfeed has obtained a report written by the New York Times on how they are going to deal with digital media, and it is dire indeed from their viewpoint. I imagine a similar document exists at APN and Fairfax.
A 96-page internalÂ New York TimesÂ report, sent to top executives last month by a committee led by the publisherâ€™s son and obtained by BuzzFeed, paints a dark picture of a newsroom struggling more dramatically than is immediately visible to adjust to the digital world, a newsroom that is hampered primarily by its own storied culture.
TheÂ TimesÂ report was finalized March 24 by a committee of digitally oriented staffers led by reporter A.G. Sulzberger. His father,Â TimesÂ Publisher Arthur Sulzberger,Â fired Executive Editor Jill Abramson Tuesday, a decision that doesnâ€™t appear immediately related to the paperâ€™s digital weaknesses.
The report largely ignores legacy competitors and focuses on the new wave of digital companies, includingÂ First Look Media,Â Vox,Â Huffington Post,Â Business Insider, and BuzzFeed.
â€śThey are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities,â€ť the report warns. â€śMeanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms.â€ť
â€śWe are not moving with enough urgency,â€ť it says.
It is speed which is killing them and an adherence to deadlines. Radio doesn’t have deadlines, they run news as it happens. The true legacy organisations are television and print, both run a deadline model, where most people have actually read or heard about the news by time their deadline rolls around.
The deep problems, the report says, are cultural, including a sense that theÂ Timeswill simply serve as a destination â€” leading to a neglect of social promotion. One factor is an obsessive focus on the front page of the print paper, with reporters evaluated in their annual reviews on how many times theyâ€™ve made A1.
â€śThe newsroom is unanimous: we are focusing too much time and energy on Page One,â€ť the report says. Â Â Read more »