Recent news articles show that The New York Times and the Washington Post beat in readership and stats “new generation” peers like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post. Four factors explain this trend, says Kevin Curnock, of the Brunswick News, of Canada:
- The rising tide of paid content
“It may be counterintuitive to think that asking customers to pay for content will increase digital traffic, yet that appears to be the case,” Mr. Curnock says. Yet both The New York Times and the Washington Post offer a combination of free and paid content. Still, this may boil down to a simple principle as old as commerce: people are ready to pay for quality. And both traditional newspapers offer it in spades.
- Consistent strategic investment
Both newspapers have bold programs of investments in new technologies.
- Persistent leadership
The leadership at the two papers stood up to the challenges and sailed forth through stormy waters. After at least two decades of turmoil, they are now reaping the benefits.
- The power of print
So print is not on the verge of demise, after all. Whatever the doubts about print, a dual product allows the companies to put forth bundles, resulting in a virtuous loop that reinforces each edition. Plus, in the era that is seeing the revival of vinyl, what was out yesterday is the new cool. And we hope it is here to stay.
We hope the lessons of the two deans of the American press may inspire their smaller peers across the country and the world. This much is certain: the reports of newspapers’ death have been greatly exaggerated.