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Sunday, October 31 2010

The NY Times's Digital Transformation

HonestReporting's social media editor, Alex Margolin, contributes occasional posts on social media issues. He oversees HonestReporting on Facebook.

As the USA's vaunted “paper of record” for the entire field of journalism, the NY Times has credibility and reach rivaling any news outline in the mainstream media. And that’s just the print edition.

New stats show the Times also attracts more Twitter followers than any other newspaper – a whopping 2.6 million people receive the paper’s 140 character tweets.

Not only did the Gray Lady out-distance the runner-up Wall St. Journal's 464,000 Twitter followers, the Times was the only paper on the list with more Twitter followers than readers of its print edition.


Meanwhile, the Times recently announced that print advertising was expected to fall again in the third quarter of 2010.

The company said print advertising across all its media companies — which include The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune and several local papers — is expected to decline 5 percent. Revenue from circulation is expected to decrease about 5 percent.

Revenue from online advertising, however, is expected to rise 14 percent.

Could the paper’s success attracting readers through social media herald a new direction for the Times towards a predominantly digital future, particularly in light of trends towards decline in print revenues?

Time will tell, but the paper clearly understands the importance of social media to its online success. While it remains committed to launch a paywall at the start of 2011, the paper has indicated that it will allow people who come through Facebook or Google to continue viewing content for free.

Previously in Alex's series: 'My Story' Marketing: A Lesson For Israel Advocates



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