Magazine Feature / People

NYT editor not worried about the future of newspapers

Andrew Rosenthal (BA ’78), editorial page editor of The New York Times, told a room of about 25 media, film and journalism students that the future of newspapers is not online.

Rosenthal said newspapers will eventually be replaced, but until someone develops something as useful as the paper — where people can flip through and serendipitously find news — the newspaper will still thrive.

“All the money we make is off newspapers,” he said. “That’s where the money is.”

When asked by a student if he was worried about the future of newspapers, he responded, “I’m not worried about the future of mine.” 

Rosenthal graduated from DU in 1978 with a degree in history and returned to speak at DU’s Alumni Symposium Oct. 1. Prior to the event, he spoke to students in the Department of Media, Film and Journalism.

“I loved it,” said Cory Lamz, a sophomore journalism and digital media major from Colorado Springs, Colo. “It was very insightful to hear about the future of journalism.”

Lamz, editor of the DU student newspaper, The Clarion, hopes print journalism is still an option when he graduates, but he’s embracing social media just in case.

“I’m a ‘Twitteraholic,’” he said.

Rosenthal poked fun at the idea of social media, commenting that newspapers have always been social — just look to the wedding announcements, for example.

He said that while the Times embraces social media by creating apps and using Facebook and Twitter, it is not generating readership.

“Most people go to the nytimes.com to read the Times,” he said. The biggest single producer of visits to the site is Google with 30 percent, he said, whereas social media only generates .36 of their readership.

Rosenthal said the Times is considering a metered model, where site visitors would pay when they reached a certain level of readership.

He said in his opinion, there should always have been a fee for news content.

“News organizations that try to generate revenue just on ads will only fail,” he said. 

One Comment

  1. Is Mr. Rosenthal really saying newspapers are not in danger? That the NYT is not taking on water at a fierce rate? Perhaps he should visit the business and finance departments of the NYT for some current realities. The truth is the NYT is in so much trouble they have had to go to Mexico for private high rate loans and readership is tanking. Recent surveys indicate the majority of folks get their news from cable rather than the networks or papers.
    It would seem Mr. Rosnthal is wearing the wrong kind of eyewear. Would he place his retirement funds in NYT stock?

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