Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I bet I could make the New York Times profitable...

The New York Times is a cesspool of agenda driven "reporting." More often than not, they regurgitate the liberal position and serve as the Democrat Party's mouthpiece to promote and (just as readily) hide the real story. The stubborn (and suicidal) stance has led them to the abyss financially.

So...the question remains...what do they have to do to actually succeed as a viable business?

It's not as hard as you might think:

1. No more opinion in hard news stories. Instead of handholding the reader with a by-line that leads them to a desired conclusion...stick with factual representation only. Instead of using convaluted verbs like "implied" or "alluded" or "suggested"...the journalist should rely on "stated" or "said."

2. No more "well placed anonymous sources." Simply put, the NYT does not possess the credibility to be able to allow the luxury of trust with the reader. The immediate thought of any intelligent consumer should be "I think they just made that up, or secured the information from a politically motivated individual."

3. Page 2 of every New York Times issue should remain totally blank. Page 2 is for corrections, retractions and clarification. If there is nothing printed on that page...then they are doing their job. If retractions or clarifications are required, they are out front and center for the reader providing a sense of honesty and responsibility. On those days when the page is blank for extended periods at a time, the owner of the NYT can reward his valued employees accordingly.

4. The Op-Ed section of the paper should be more transparent (as should the paper in general). NO OP-ED's are written by anyone without attribution to the writer. Op-Ed's attributed to some nonsense reference like "staff" or "Editorial department" are a license to lie and obfuscate. Writers should be held accountable, and if someone in the Op-Ed department pens something questionable, they ought to have the courage to sign their name.

5. ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS BY THE NYT. That is not the function of a "newspaper."

6. Continuing with the Op-Ed portion of the NYT. There would be a "left of the fold" section for left leaning writers. There would a be a "right of the fold" section for those leaning to the right. Each contracted Op-Ed contributor would provide a full bio reflective of their politics in that regard.

7. Also, in Op-Ed, there would be a separate section available for guest Op-Ed's reflective of the hot topics of the present. Again, contributors must provide a full bio available to the reader with their piece.

8. With each Op-Ed, the NYT would contract with a number of blogs to critique offerings in the newspaper. The NYT would provide links to at least two blogs under each Op-Ed where the discussion of the topic would be ongoing. The suggested process would be to have blogs from both ideologies addressing the offering. The writer of the NYT Op-Ed would be encouraged to participate in these discussions and compensated by the NYT for substative involvement.

9. All journalists and Op-Ed writers for the NYT (all sections) would be encouraged to participate in internet generated discussion throughout the blogosphere on pieces they produce. In addition, certain blogs (on a rotating basis) would be permitted to reproduce pieces in full (as opposed to an excerpt) to generate interest and discussion. The Fair Use Doctrine is void when a commercial venture is realized (blog collects revenue via advertising on the blog, or donations; LA Times v. Free Republic). However, with permission the reproduction of the full article will generate interest for the NYT and the blog...and a form of revenue sharing can be contracted in advance.

10. Guest writers (primarily Op-Ed) can be solicited from the blogosphere on topics in which they excell. To this point, the NYT and other newspapers have not made a real effort to co-exist with the internet. They have failed to tap into what could be a vast resource (not only of information) but also of revenue via captive readers to specific blogs.

11. For God's Sake...New York City has an absolutely wonderful collection of sports teams, individual atheletes and one of the most loyal fan bases on the planet. CREATE A PREMIER SPORTS SECTION!!!

12. New York has a great reputation for fasion, lifestyle and entertainment, but the NYT relies on self-important and self-proclaimed experts to present their views. The problem is that they fail to tap the resources available to them. How many members of the entertainment industry live in the Upper East Side? Who wouldn't want an inside story or two from actors who happen to be native New Yorker's? How about a human interest story penned by some of the fashion greats once in a while? Instead, we are stuck with ecclectic and elitist drivel from prunes and plows.


I could go on and on and on. But, to summarize...the NYT could really be a gold mine if someone understood transparency, understood the demographics of their customers...but more importantly realized that the current ideology of the NYT voids an entire market of potential consumers (likely much larger than the current readership and circulation). When circulation increases, advertising rates increase. In addition, if the readership includes both sides of the aisle, the potential advertising base increases as well. Folks on the left do, indeed, purchase different products from those on the right.

Also, there needs to be an innovative effort made to make the blogs benefit the "big media." I provide just a scant portion of views in that regard. There are many (not yet tapped).

Above all...the NYT lost its reputation for straight informative and factual news. She traded in on liberal ideology. The first step in making her profitable is making her trustworthy. That is an earned reward...and the revenue would follow.