January 7, 2010

A Desperate Industry

Justin Katz

Here's an interesting tidbit, from the very last bullet paragraph, at the bottom of the page here:

Times are tough for magazines and newspapers, and necessity still seems to be the mother of invention. The New York Times, in an apparent effort to increase readership and influence, has begun marketing aggressively to college students. This means we can expect to see more free copies of the Times handed out on college campuses, right? Well, no. It’s actually a bit more aggressive than that. An email sent from the Times to college professors informs them that they are entitled to a complimentary subscription if they include the Times as required reading for one of their courses. That’s right, required.

Personally, I'm less concerned that desperation will be the mother of invention, for the mainstream media, but the impetus for calls for intervention by the government. By their failed business models and ideological restrictions, a state-controlled media may be born.

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Justin, only the government can ensure a fair media because it is of the people, by the people, and for the people, unlike the private market which will always be driven by profits and narrow self-interest. Anyone from RIFuture can tell you that.

Posted by: Dan at January 7, 2010 2:14 PM

Although I have no particular use for the NYT, this practice is pretty common among publishers. Since I was in grad school in the early '80s, the Wall Street Journal has offered free subscriptions to professors who induce 7 students to subscribe. Business Week, Forbes, and Barrons have similar offers.

Posted by: drdave51 at January 7, 2010 3:17 PM
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