As Things Stand, The Times Can’t Survive Online Only

picture-1Ted Madger e-wondered whether or not The Times can survive online only. The answer? No.

First the tangible reasons: their operating costs are astronomical even before you factor in production costs, the new building is super sexy but ridiculously expensive/ill-timed. More damning than foolish spending though, is their outdated general approach, one that doesn’t lend itself to survival in the cash-lite online atmosphere that they’re sort of, kind of looking to embrace.

Because the days of online only print are well on their way, here are a couple things that The Times— and its many gray paper brethren– need to do if they’re looking to succeed:

1) Realize that they are not God and citizens can also participate in journalism. The crowdsourcing, cost cutting methods that will help journalists cover their respective beats are not irrelevant and should not be ignored.

2) Use external rather than self-referential links more often. NYTimes.com is woefully under connected to the massive internet in which it exists. Though some links do deign to leave the site, they are relatively few and far between.

More to come throughout the semester…

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