When I came to The Times in 2012, I felt that it was a newspaper that had a strong digital element. Now, I feel like it’s actually a digital media company that happens to put out a newspaper.”
–Margaret Sullivan, public editor of The New York Times
Twelve NYU undergrads in Professor Jay Rosen’s spring 2015 class, “The Future of the New York Times,” have been looking deeply into efforts at the Times to find a secure and sustainable future in a radically changed world.
They have pored over what has been written on the subject. They have heard from people who work at the New York Times, and people who recently left. They have learned from other close readers of the institution, like Nikki Usher of George Washington University, author of Making News at the New York Times, and Ken Doctor, who writes about the digital transformation of the press for Nieman Lab and Capital New York. And they have read and re-read a key document: The New York Times innovation report, which every speaker in class has mentioned.
Now, midway through the term, they are ready to share some of the results of their work with others who are interested in the future of the New York Times. That is what this site is for. The students designed and built it themselves. They produced the video trailer and researched the material.
The first task the class undertook was to try to classify, name and describe all the major efforts the Times has underway to prepare the institution for what is ahead. So far the class has found 13 distinct efforts of this type. They are found on the “future-facing initiatives” tab. They range from “the mobile imperative” to “making the Times into a global product” to “overcoming a print vs. digital divide.” Each one is described in a few paragraphs — with quotes and illustrations.
This list of 13 future-facing initiatives is a work in progress — it may be revised as the class learns more — but it has been vetted with several Times insiders, people involved in changing the institution, and they said it does a good job of covering the available data. Which is not to say the list is comprehensive (yet.) But it is getting there. If you have an idea for how it can be improved, email the class or tweet at us.
On the links tab (also a work-in progress) the class has listed the key articles for understanding each of the 13 future-facing initiatives. No repository like has existed online… until now. Know of an article or study that belongs on these lists? Send it to the class.
The next task the class will tackle involves reviewing products that are themselves “future-facing.” Each student will research a key product, become a regular user of it, compare it to similar products and write an opinionated review, which will be posted on the site. Those assessments are not complete yet (the assignments were given out March 6) but you can see the list of products that will be reviewed here.
Journalism Professor and Media Critic
Economics and Math & Computer Science, 2016
will be reviewing the NYTimes Homepage
Journalism and Politics, 2017
will be reviewing the NYTimes on the iPad
Journalism and Politics, 2017
will be reviewing the Upshot, a sub-brand
of the Times
Journalism and Romance Languages, 2015
will be reviewing Modernization of Times magazines
Politics Rights and Development, 2018
will be reviewing the NYT Now App
Computer Science and Journalism, 2017
will be reviewing Outreach to Developers and NYT Open
Film and Television, 2015
will be reviewing the Recommendation Engines
Film & Television Production and History, 2015
will be reviewing Times Talks, Events, and Conferences
Journalism and History, 2017
will be reviewing the Youtube and Video Efforts
Journalism and Economics, 2016
will be reviewing the NYTimes Chinese language site
Media and Feminist Criticism, 2017
will be reviewing Native Advertising
Media Culture and Communications, 2017
will be reviewing the NYT Cooking App