Ann Friedman: Can Serious Journalism Bring In The Clicks?

03/02/2015 01:35 pm ET | Updated Mar 02, 2015
Jason Travis

In his editor’s letter this week announcing a redesigned New York Times Magazine, one with much more digital content and a podcast tie-in, editor Jake Silverstein offered a preemptive defense against concerns that this might run against the magazine’s reputation for sterling journalism. “This isn’t an obligatory exercise in multiplatform brand leveraging, as the marketing types might put it,” he wrote, “or the beginning of our descent into soul-deadening content farming.”

For too long, it’s been easy to mock legacy media organizations that dare dabble in relatively new, digital platforms or formats that are perceived to be low-brow. When outlets with long-established reputations do take a stab at entertaining an audience rather than just informing it, critics have been quick to couch the move as a play for advertising and lowest-common-denominator clicks.

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