Accuracy in Media

The bitter battle between The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents writers and reporters at the paper, continued this week with the release of a video by three of the Times’ Pulitzer Prize winners asking the paper to accede to the union’s contract demands.

In the video, Dan Barry, Kevin Sack and Amy Harmon praised the Times for its content and expressed their concerns about the extended labor negotiations, with Sack assessing how much things have changed since he started working at the paper:

Sack: “I think one of the real changes out there in the media landscape out there, that we have to be aware of, is that there are alternatives now. The electronic media evolution has gotten to the point where there are competing organizations that will now pick off Times reporters and are able to pay them significantly higher salaries than the paper is putting forth at this point.”

It’s that changing landscape that the Times is struggling with. While they have had some success establishing a paywall, it hasn’t been enough to offset the continued decline in advertising revenue, which amounted to 8.1% in the latest quarter, contributing to a whopping 24.3% decline in operating profit.

Total revenue at the paper fell by 0.3 percent to $499.4 million, marking the fifth consecutive quarter that the Times has reported a revenue decline, which is not good news for its long-term financial health.

With this video the Guild is trying to increase the pressure on the Times. But with continued poor financial results, Barry, Sack and Harmon may find their futures lie elsewhere.

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