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doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business.He was young, he says, no older than 6, when he shuffled through the brass-plated revolving doors of the old concrete hulk on 43rd Street and boarded the elevator up to his father’s and grandfather’s offices.To hit that mark, the , is journalism) while continuously adding new online services and features (from personalized fitness advice and interactive newsbots to virtual reality films) so that a subscription becomes indispensable to the lives of its existing subscribers and more attractive to future ones.“We think that there are many, many, many, many people—millions of people all around the world—who want what How they reach those people, and how they make them pay, is now the work of hundreds of journalists, designers, engineers, data scientists, and product managers.He suggests a simpler reason: “I think the public anxiety to actually have professional, consistent, properly funded newsrooms holding politicians to account is probably bigger than all of the other factors put together.” In other words, the president’s hostility to the press and the very notion of facts themselves seems to have reminded people that nothing about two years prior but was still the company’s chair, was delivering a speech in Kansas City, Missouri, and turned to the burgeoning “information highway.” He didn’t like it much.“Far from resembling a modern interstate,” he predicted, it “will more likely approach a roadway in India: chaotic, crowded, and swarming with cows.” That same day, back in New York City, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., who succeeded his father as publisher (which he remains to this day), was also giving a speech about technological change. “Hell, if someone would be kind enough to invent the technology, I’ll be pleased to beam it directly into your cortex.” It was a line the young publisher liked to repeat.
Like most everything then, it was free to read for anyone in the US with a dial-up connection.
At stake isn’t just the future of a very old newspaper that has seen its advertising revenue cut in half in less than a decade—it’s the still unresolved question of whether high-impact, high-cost journalism can thrive in a radically changing landscape.
Newspaper companies today employ 271,000 fewer people than they did in 1990—around the population of Orlando—and with fewer journalists working with fewer resources, and more Americans getting their news on platforms where the news could very well be fake, the financial success of the —or, per his preferred Twitter epithet, “the failing @nytimes”—would be a frequent target of his administration, calling an article “dishonest” for citing something he had said on CNN (which was odd, since he did actually say it, in public, on video) and adding (also falsely) that the Times “is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage.” In fact, it’s been the exact opposite: Four weeks after the election, did a bang-up job covering the final days of the election—like everyone else, they failed to anticipate Trump’s victory—or that readers were looking to hedge against fake news.
But there could be another reason for his confidence.
Sulzberger, like more than three dozen other executives and journalists I interviewed and shadowed at the , is working on the biggest strategic shift in the paper’s 165-year history, and he believes it will strengthen its bottom line, enhance the quality of its journalism, and secure a long and lasting future.The New York Times conferences bring together leaders from around the world to deepen understanding of vital topics, advance innovative solutions to major challenges and provide new opportunities for businesses.