The NYT Has to Think Like a Tech Startup

Posted September 1st 2016


via Recode

The New York Times is 164 years old. But the people figuring out its digital strategy agree it can’t cling to the past.

“The New York Times tradition is not to fail,” Assistant Masthead Editor Clifford Levy said on the latest episode of Recode Media. “But I don’t think, in this new era, we can hew to that kind of tradition. We have to be willing to try new things, and if they fail, that’s fine.”

Levy and Associate Editor Sam Dolnick — a potential heir to the NYT as a member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has owned the paper since 1896 — spoke with Recode Managing Editor Edmund Lee about how the Times is adapting to the times. They said an overarching theme of their work is finding a voice for digital journalism that blends original reporting with expertise “to help you lead a better life.”

In this episode of Recode Media, the Times editors talk about aligning their strategy for product development with that of a Silicon Valley company, as well as the massive Google Cardboard giveaway that launched their NYT VR initiative. If print is indeed no longer what the readers want, traditional media needs to continue to find new ways to grow, and the Times is leading by example.